Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have ended a marathon opening day at the Las Vegas Grand Prix fastest for Ferrari.
It was a stunning performance for the Sainz said of the Ferrari garage after completing a chassis swap following Free Practice 1.
That was necessitated when a loose water valve cover inflicted heavy damage on the Spaniard’s car and forced the abandonment of opening practice – and the delay of Free Practice 2.
Sadly, he’ll cop a grid penalty for a new energy store, the team’s argument of force majeure accepted by officials who were nonetheless forced under the regulations to penalise the Scuderia.
Leclerc ended proceedings fastest by 0.5s, Sainz 0.01s up on Fernando Alonso in third and Max Verstappen only sixth fastest for Red Bull – two places back from team-mate Sergio Perez.
The session finally got underway 2.5 hours after its originally scheduled time,…