Around 35,000 spectators who attended the Formula 1 race for the Las Vegas Grand Prix have launched a class-action lawsuit against the organizers after they were ejected from the stands ahead of the second practice session.
The lawsuit seeks damages of over $15,000 for the fans who were deprived of the full racing experience.
Disrupted practice sessions and early eviction of spectators
The first practice session on Friday was abruptly canceled after just eight minutes due to track issues.
Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon damaged their cars after hitting the concrete frames of the drain shafts. This incident forced the organizers to inspect and repair the track, delaying the second practice session by two and a half hours.
Despite the efforts to rectify the track problems, the second practice session was also disrupted, ending at 4 am local time. This late conclusion, coupled with a lack of staff, particularly those responsible for security and transportation, prompted the organizers to make the controversial decision to evict spectators from the stands.
Legal action and compensation sought
The lawsuit filed by the 35,000 affected spectators names five individuals who are seeking damages of over $15,000 on behalf of the group. The lawsuit alleges that the organizers breached their contract with the fans by failing to provide the promised racing experience.
Attorney Steve Dimopoulos, representing the group of spectators, expressed their disappointment and stated, "We will defend the rights of fans who traveled a long way and paid a small fortune to attend the race, but were deprived of that experience." Formula 1 acknowledged the class-action lawsuit but declined to comment further, emphasizing their priority to provide a safe and entertaining experience for all fans.
As a gesture of goodwill, ticket holders from Friday were offered a $200 voucher to be used in official Formula 1 merchandise stores. Red Bull's three-time world champion Max Verstappen told Dutch media that if he had been one of those fans, he would have "torn everything down".
The remaining part of the race weekend passed without major problems, and Verstappen won the race and achieved his 18th triumph of the season.