Las Vegas GP marred by more controversy as footage emerges after F1 lawsuit woe

Motorsport fans showed Formula One what they thought of huge blackout screens protecting the track at the Las Vegas Grand Prix by tearing holes in them and watching the race for free. The first Formula One race to be held in Sin City since 1982 turned out to be an epic but was marred by controversy from start to finish.

Even before the race weekend had got underway, visitors, hotels and casinos had fumed at the erection of big structures around the street circuit that were designed to stop people from catching a glimpse of the action without purchasing an expensive grandstand ticket.

But once the race was in full flow images soon started to emerge on social media showing spectators ripping holes in the controversial blackout screens to watch the action from the edge of the main strip.

The event reportedly attracted over 315,000 fans, but as images on showed, not all of them were paying for the privilege.

The report claims that event staff did attempt to repair the blackout screens when it became apparent what was happening but their attempts were unsuccessful.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen went on to win the race for his record 18th triumph of the season, but unlike many of the Dutchman’s previous victories, the Las Vegas edition was a far more dramatic affair.

The Red Bull driver had to overcome a five-second penalty and front-wing damage before he eventually showed his class to retake the lead with 16 laps to go after he had been in a battle with teammate Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Charles LeClerc.

The race weekend was hit with its first major issue on Thursday evening when the opening practice session had to be halted when Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz hit a loose manhole cover, causing huge damage to his car.

When the suspended session was eventually restarted it was 2.30am local time in front of deserted stands after spectators were asked to leave due to security problems.

Single-day ticket holders were offered compensation for the lost session in the form of $200 vouchers to spend on Grand Prix merchandise. But according to Planet F1, law firm Dimopoulos and JK legal & Consulting have filed a class action on behalf of the 35,000 spectators believed to have been at the circuit on Thursday for the practice session.

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Lead lawyer Steve Dimopoulos said: “We will vindicate the rights of the fans that travelled great distances and paid small fortunes to attend, but were deprived of the experience.”

He continued by saying that the claim is asking for: “Money damages in an amount that will fairly and reasonably compensate them for the harm caused by the defendants.

“In addition, the plaintiffs claim damages for mental anguish in an amount to be determined by the jury that is fair and reasonable in consideration of the wilful, reckless, and intentional conduct of the defendant.”

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