NOVEMBER 21, 2023

Drivers unhappy after Las Vegas GP oil spill

Even as Max Verstappen's Las Vegas GP negativity fades, it is clear that other drivers and officials remain unhappy with certain events over the recent race weekend.

Pierre Gasly, Las Vegas GP 2023
© Alpine

Pierre Gasly, for instance, admits that he even took the initiative to tell the FIA that he has a major grip with one incident that occurred just an hour before Saturday's highly-anticipated grand prix.

I have already discussed it with the FIA, the Alpine driver admits.

He's referring to the fact that the engine of one of the attractive classic cars scheduled to take the Formula 1 stars around the circuit for the pre-race driver parade dumped all of its oil onto the race grid.

Track workers tried to cover the spill with what Ferrari's Carlos Sainz described as a white product.

The Spaniard was already furious about having his race weekend severely affected by the well-known manhole cover.

And he said the oil spill directly contributed to the first-corner incidents in the race.

This is another problem that the FIA should pay more attention to, Sainz insisted. "I think this was not fair. All the oil was on the inside.

The asphalt there was already dirty and then we parked those cars there for the oil to leak onto the track an hour before the start. I want to emphasise that this is unacceptable, said the Ferrari driver.

Even Fernando (Alonso), with all his experience, had no grip when he got there.

Frenchman Gasly heartily agreed.

I'm sure they'll change a few things for the future because it really didn't feel fair that some guys had to start on oil while others had a clean track, he said.

Also on the same page is George Russell, a leading voice in the Formula 1 drivers' union, the GPDA.

It's not the first time we've seen these historic cars dripping oil, said the Mercedes driver. It was quite shocking to see how bad it was.

Even McLaren team boss Andrea Stella recognised the problem.

This seems like an obvious point, he said. "If there's a Formula 1 race about to happen, you don't want oil spilled on the track an hour before the race.

I think there will be many things on the agenda for F1 and the FIA to improve safety conditions for the future. Because it certainly shouldn't have happened, or it should be resolved as a priority.