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Sergio Perez

Perez 'sorry for fans' after Las Vegas practice disruption

Formula 1 didn't enjoy a smooth first day of running in Las Vegas with FP1 abandoned before fans were ejected from the grandstands minutes before the second outing got underway.

Perez Las Vegas
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Sergio Perez has stated he is “very sorry for the fans” following a disruptive opening day at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Running for the opening practice outing of the weekend lasted just eight minutes as both Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon picked up damage due to a loose manhole cover.

A track inspection was carried out after the outing was abandoned to ensure the other drain covers were secure.

The second practice session was delayed by two and a half hours resulting in fan areas being closed due to “logistical considerations”.

Footage in Las Vegas showed police officers entering the grandstands to eject attending fans ahead of the start of FP2.

While Perez regrets that the fans had a negative experience, the Red Bull driver is hopeful that the remainder of the weekend will be a success.

“I’m very sorry for the fans that this happened,” said Perez. “I’m sure that we’re going to be able to put on a nice race weekend.

“Overall it’s a challenging place, the grip level is quite low so it’s just coming up which makes things a lot more challenging.”

Perez suggests Ferrari challenge

Perez ended the second practice outing in fourth place while team-mate Max Verstappen was sixth fastest.

Ferrari led the way with Charles Leclerc at the head of the timesheets while team-mate Carlos Sainz was second fastest.

Perez suggested that Ferrari currently holds the upper hand but is expecting a closer fight when it comes to Sunday's Grand Prix.

“I think we were making good progress, which was a good thing in my opinion,” Perez said.

“[I'm] fairly happy with that. Ferrari is looking very strong, not just on the pace - when you look at the footage, the onboards, they look like they are able to find something.

“But come race day I think we’re going to be there.”

F1 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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