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)
TT

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.



Germany Looking to Book Spot in Euro 2024 Knockout Stage with Another Win against Hungary

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
TT

Germany Looking to Book Spot in Euro 2024 Knockout Stage with Another Win against Hungary

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)

Germany faces Hungary on Wednesday in Stuttgart in their second Group A match. Germany tops the group after beating Scotland 5-1 in the opener while Hungary lost 3-1 against Switzerland. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT). Here’s what to know about the match:

Match facts:

— Victory for Germany would all but guarantee a spot in the knockout stages and it would definitely advance if Switzerland also beats Scotland in the other group match.

— Another defeat would not end Hungary’s chances as it could still claim one of the four best third-place spots up for grabs.

— Germany is winless in its last three meetings against Hungary and was beaten 1-0 in the last game between the two teams, in September 2022.

— Germany had to twice come from behind when the teams met in the group stage at the last European Championship. That was the teams’ first competitive meeting since the 1954 World Cup final, won 3-2 by West Germany.

Team news:

— Hungary coach Marco Rossi is hopeful French-born midfielder Loic Nego will have recovered to face Germany after he was only fit for a place on the bench against Switzerland.

— Germany has reported no injury concerns.

By the numbers:

— Germany’s five goals scored against Scotland leaves it just one short of its best-ever group stage tally at the European Championship, when it scored six at Euro 2020.

— Hungary midfielder Ádám Nagy, who turned 29 on Sunday, could make his eighth tournament appearance if he plays against Germany. That would be a new record for Hungary, breaking the joint mark Nagy holds with former captain Ádám Szalai.

— Germany’s victory over Scotland saw the team win its European Championship opener for a record-extending eighth time.

What they’re saying:

“Hungary is an unpleasant opponent, they can sometimes be wild and they’re difficult to get a hold of. There are a lot of free spirits out there” — Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann.

“We beat them (Germany) in 2022, so I’m sure it will be an extra motivation for them. They’ll be thinking: ‘Not again.’ But it’s clear from the first game that this Germany side is a completely proposition to what they were back then or even last year.” — Hungary forward Martin Ádám.

“On the pitch you felt how every single one of our players was annoyed that we conceded. That is a good sign. Scoring goals is nice, but we are thinking defensively and want to have stability at the back.” — Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.