Las Vegas GP hit with lawsuit after practice delays

Why did F1 not apologise for disastrous Las Vegas opening day? (1:33)

Nate Saunders and Laurence Edmondson discuss the farcical opening day at the Las Vegas GP. (1:33)

The troubled Las Vegas Formula One Grand Prix has been hit with a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the 35,000 people who bought tickets for Thursday's practice session that was cancelled when Carlos Sainz's Ferrari was damaged by a loose drain cover.

The highly anticipated first action on the neon-lit circuit, which includes a section along the famed Las Vegas Strip, lasted a little over eight minutes before coming to a halt.

What followed was a 5½-hour break while crews removed all 30 covers along the 3.8-mile layout and filled the holes with sand and asphalt.

A second 90-minute practice session began in front of empty grandstands at 2:30 a.m. on Friday, long after fans had been cleared out in a move officials said was a necessary safety precaution.

Las Vegas Grand Prix (LVGP) officials attempted damage control, offering $200 merchandise vouchers to single-day ticket holders.

The compensation did not extend to those who had purchased three-day passes.

Dimopoulos Law Firm and co-counsel JK Legal & Consulting said they had filed a class-action lawsuit against the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix in Nevada state court Friday on behalf of the people who purchased tickets for the practice run.

The lawsuit named Formula One owners and race promoters Liberty Media Corporation, DBA Formula One Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix and TAB Contractors Inc as defendants.

"There are a number of issues with that [compensation]," Steve Dimopoulos told Reuters in a phone interview Saturday. "Clearly that [$200 merchandise voucher] is not a refund that is sufficient.

"A lot of fans probably don't even want that; they want their money back.

"There are also peripheral issues of what about the people that came in from out of town and paid for substantial airfare and hotels."

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.

Qualifying took place Friday and was completed without incident.

A spokesperson for the Las Vegas Grand Prix said: "We cannot comment on the litigation. Our focus is on ensuring that our fans have an entertaining experience in a safe and secure environment which is always our top priority."