Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle has come to the defense of Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur following a heated reaction to the incident during Free Practice 1 (FP1) at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, where Carlos Sainz collided with a loose manhole cover.
The first session of the race weekend was abruptly cut short after just nine minutes when issues with the manhole covers on the street circuit caused damage to the cars of Sainz and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. The disruption forced Ferrari and Alpine to make significant repairs, with Sainz’s chassis, engine, and battery requiring replacement.
In the aftermath of the FP1 chaos, an indefinite delay was announced, pushing back Free Practice 2 (FP2) by several hours. Vasseur, frustrated by the financial implications of the incident, expressed his displeasure, emphasizing the significant cost Ferrari would incur to rectify the damages.
Vasseur, quoted by BBC Sport, remarked, “The show is mega, and I am very happy with what [F1 owners] Liberty [Media] did around the race. But we have to separate the show and the sporting side. You can do the show and do a good job on the sporting side.”
Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle echoed Vasseur’s frustration, highlighting the impact on Ferrari’s competitiveness and the financial strain imposed by the incident. Brundle stated, “He has the right to be angry. Under these cost cap regulations, we are here at a track where Ferrari fancy their chances, especially with Carlos Sainz, and they have a broken chassis, broken engine, and no mileage.”
Brundle further noted the potential repercussions on Sainz’s performance for the rest of the weekend, saying, “Even if we run again tonight, that Ferrari is not going to run. Vasseur is not going to be very keen to hear how good the event is.”
As the teams work to overcome the challenges posed by the manhole cover incident, the focus now shifts to the remaining sessions of the Las Vegas Grand Prix and how the affected teams will navigate the hurdles for a successful race weekend.