Event: Las Vegas Grand Prix
Track: Las Vegas Strip Circuit

Weather: dry 17°C
Tarmac: dry 19°C
Humidity: 65%
Wind: 1.2 m/s SW
Pressure: 944 mbar

First Free Practice Report

Dramatic Start to F1’s Vegas Debut in First Practice

The much-anticipated first free practice session (FP1) for the 2023 Las Vegas Formula One Grand Prix was overshadowed by unexpected track issues and minimal running, leaving teams and fans eagerly awaiting updates for the rest of the weekend.

Drain Cover Drama Disrupts FP1

The session was abruptly halted and will not be resumed due to a malfunctioning drain cover, a safety issue affecting several teams, most notably Ferrari and Alpine. The FIA confirmed the need to inspect all drain covers after the concrete frame around one failed, delaying the schedule and causing substantial disruption.

Team Updates and Challenges

  • Alpine: Mechanics faced a hectic night repairing Esteban Ocon's car, with Team Principal Bruno Famin acknowledging the severity of the damage.
  • Ferrari: Carlos Sainz suffered significant damage due to a suspected drain cover issue, further adding to the team's woes.

Limited Track Time

Only a few drivers, including Charles Leclerc, Nico Hulkenberg, and Kevin Magnussen, managed to complete a handful of laps, with Leclerc topping the session. However, the limited running provided little insight into the teams' performance and setups.

Sargeant's Missed Opportunity

American driver Logan Sargeant was notably the only driver unable to take to the track before the session was red-flagged.

Looking Ahead

The focus now shifts to the second free practice session (FP2), with teams possibly adjusting ride heights based on FIA recommendations. The delayed session, starting past midnight local time, offers limited relief for teams like Ferrari and Alpine facing significant repairs.

Birthday Wishes Amidst Delay

In a lighter moment during the delay, Red Bull boss Christian Horner celebrated his 50th birthday in the vibrant city of Las Vegas.

Anticipation for FP2 and Beyond

As the teams and organizers work to resolve the track issues, the excitement and unpredictability of the Las Vegas Grand Prix continue to build. With qualifying strategies and car setups still uncertain, the remainder of the weekend promises intense action and drama.

The quickest sector times in this 9 min long FP1 were:

  • 29.274 sec. by Charles Leclerc (Ferrari SF-23 #16)
  • 33.621 sec. by Max Verstappen (Red Bull RB19 #1)
  • 38.012 sec. by Charles Leclerc (Ferrari SF-23 #16)


FP1 Times Table 2023 Las Vegas GP

P No Driver Team Time 1st Gap Laps Tyres
1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:40,909 4 🔴S
2 27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas 1:43,446 +2,537s 4 🔴S
3 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:44,261 +3,352s 4 🔴S
4 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:44,397 +3,488s 4 🟡M
5 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:45,365 +4,456s 5 🟡M
6 63 George Russell Mercedes 1:45,497 +4,588s 4 🔴S
7 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:45,824 +4,915s 4 🔴S
8 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:45,908 +4,999s 5 🟡M
9 11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:46,793 +5,884s 4 🟡M
10 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:47,147 +6,238s 5 ⚪H
11 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:48,253 +7,344s 5 🟡M
12 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:48,513 +7,604s 4 🔴S
13 3 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri 1:48,650 +7,741s 4 🟡M
14 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:48,822 +7,913s 5 ⚪H
15 4 Lando Norris McLaren 1:48,947 +8,038s 3 🟡M
16 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin no time - 2 🔴S
17 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren no time - 2 🟡M
18 23 Alex Albon Williams no time - 2 ⚪H
19 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin no time - 2 🔴S
20 2 Logan Sargeant Williams no time - 0 -

✅ Check out our 2023 Las Vegas Formula 1 Grand Prix preview.

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8 F1 Fan comments on “First Free Practice Results & Report 2023 Las Vegas F1 GP

  1. Tommy

    Its obvious ESPN considers racing the redheaded step child of their coverage. Almost an instant early end to their 1 hour of coverage when it was announced that the session would not resume. Instead of talking about some other aspect of the coming qualifying, race or maybe interviewing some of the team principals for the last 25 mins of scheduled coverage....no! Hurry up and cut back to the talent in the studio so they can talk about basketball like they had been for the last 58 hours. ESPNS coverage sucks, and while Im at it so did the opening ceremony with a bunch of entertainers Ive never heard of. Journey and Keith Urban yes but who the hell was the guy in the orange clown Michelin man getup!

    • ReallyOldRacer

      Tommy, the puff guy was modeling Lewie's clothing line. The entertainers were pulled out of the casino lounges. One thing for sure, I would hate to be the person who signed off on the engineering brief.

  2. The Spy

    ESPN? Where in the world is that coverage from? It sounds Russian. I’m 55, and even I knew who most of the acts were. Most of Europe, Australia, and New Zealand would also know who Kylie Minogue is. What Americans forget is that Formula One is a world event; therefore, not every act is going to be Journey. That aside, it’s looking like a total failure so far this weekend. I said it before and will say it again: the Americanisation of Formula One will destroy the sport as we know it. So, Liberty Media, take note. This is a sport that belongs to motorsports fans around the world. It’s not and never was meant to be marketed to people who are just there for the party or their TikTok videos.

    • The Spy

      Max. Let’s Race.

      Hamilton “Everybody I know in Hollywood is coming. and there will be a lot of business going on this weekend,” he said.

      Yeah just not Grand Prix related. I heard you’ve had to junk half your footage for your upcoming woke movie. If you can ditch the rest it will be a hit. 🤮🤮


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