Las Vegas Grand Prix Offers Vouchers to Fans after Practice Debacle

 Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc races during the qualifying session for the Las Vegas Formula One Grand Prix on November 18, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (AFP)
Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc races during the qualifying session for the Las Vegas Formula One Grand Prix on November 18, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (AFP)
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Las Vegas Grand Prix Offers Vouchers to Fans after Practice Debacle

 Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc races during the qualifying session for the Las Vegas Formula One Grand Prix on November 18, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (AFP)
Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc races during the qualifying session for the Las Vegas Formula One Grand Prix on November 18, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (AFP)

Las Vegas Grand Prix officials attempted damage control on Friday after fans were sent home and missed most of Thursday night's practice sessions, offering $200 merchandise vouchers to single-day ticket holders.

The highly-anticipated first look at the track along the famed Las Vegas Strip lasted a mere eight minutes before Carlos Sainz's Ferrari was badly damaged by a loose drain cover, leading to the swift cancellation of the session.

What followed was a five-and-a-half-hour break while crews removed all 30 covers along the 3.8-mile circuit and filled the holes with sand and asphalt as drivers blared Lionel Richie's "All Night Long (All Night)" from their garages.

Finally, a second, 90-minute practice kicked off before empty grandstands at 2:30 a.m. on Friday morning, long after fans had been cleared out in a move officials said was a necessary safety precaution.

"Following last night's incident involving a water valve cover, the Las Vegas Grand Prix, F1 and the FIA were faced with the difficult decision to close the fan zones prior to the beginning of Free Practice 2," said a message to holders of tickets for Thursday's practice.

"We appreciate your patience while we remedied the situation. This was not a decision we took lightly. As a thank you for your support, we would like to offer you a $200 voucher to the Las Vegas Grand Prix Official Shop.

"With a full round of practice successfully completed, we look forward to providing a safe and entertaining race weekend for all."

The decision to send fans home was made out of concern for public safety and security officials, who had been on duty for a long time, LVGP CEO Renee Wilm and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, said in a joint statement.

Transportation employees responsible for driving guests back to their hotels were bumping up against the amount of time they could legally and safely drive buses, and hospitality staff needed time to clean and resupply guest areas, they said.

The vast majority of fans in attendance at the inaugural event are on three-day passes and will be attending Friday's practice and qualifying as well as Saturday night's race. They are ineligible for the vouchers.



France Recalls Contaminated Olympic Water Bottles

Olympic rings are set up at Trocadero plaza that overlooks the Eiffel Tower, a day after the official announcement that the 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be in the French capital, in Paris, France, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP)
Olympic rings are set up at Trocadero plaza that overlooks the Eiffel Tower, a day after the official announcement that the 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be in the French capital, in Paris, France, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP)
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France Recalls Contaminated Olympic Water Bottles

Olympic rings are set up at Trocadero plaza that overlooks the Eiffel Tower, a day after the official announcement that the 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be in the French capital, in Paris, France, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP)
Olympic rings are set up at Trocadero plaza that overlooks the Eiffel Tower, a day after the official announcement that the 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be in the French capital, in Paris, France, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP)

French authorities have recalled Olympics-branded water bottles for children containing excessive levels of endocrine disruptor Bisphenol A, a week ahead of the Paris Games' opening.

The reusable bottles made by the Vilac company have "levels of Bisphenol A not in line with regulations" on products designed for contact with foods, government website Rappel Conso (Consumer Recall) said Friday, AFP reported.

The white-coloured flasks with beige, blue or red tops are branded with the Olympic rings, the Paris 2024 mascot or the Olympic flame.

People who have bought them should return them to the place of purchase, authorities said.

The bottles were sold in France from late August last year until the beginning of June.

Bisphenol A, once widely used in making food containers, has been banned in France since 2015.

Labelled an endocrine disruptor by France's food safety agency Anses, it is believed to be linked to health problems including breast cancer and infertility.