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The show goes on in Vegas! Wags and influencers out in force for the Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton arrives in a flamboyant red outfit and Carlos Sainz speaks about THAT loose drain cover at a fan event

  • The Las Vegas GP was hoping for a more successful second day on Friday night
  • Drivers, WAGs and influencers were out in force for practice and qualifying
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news

Wags and influencers are out on force for the Las Vegas Grand Prix – as the sport hopes the new day will bring a fresh start for Formula One in Sin City.

Friday descended into farce as the first practice was abandoned after only eight minutes when a drain cover came loose on the track, causing substantial damage to Carlos Sainz‘s Ferrari.

And furious fans – some of whom paid $200 to be there – were then kicked out before the second session could begin at 2:30am local time, two-and-a-half hours later than scheduled.

But drivers headed back to the track on Saturday night – where Ferrari favourite Charles Leclerc claimed pole ahead of his stricken teammate, Sainz.

The Spanish driver even honored a commitment to appear at a fan event in the city and looked to be enjoying himself alongside his fellow Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.

Event chiefs will be praying Thursday’s track fiasco becomes a distant memory at the end of a weekend in which 105,000 F1 fans – including some paying up to $185,000 (£150,000) – pack out the Sin City circuit. 

Lewis Hamilton was seen arriving in a flamboyant all-red outfit that caught the eye in the City of Lights

Lewis Hamilton was seen arriving in a flamboyant all-red outfit that caught the eye in the City of Lights 

The Brit turned heads in the striking outfit, which he paired with chunky black boots and black sunglasses

The Brit turned heads in the striking outfit, which he paired with chunky black boots and black sunglasses

Sainz (left) even honored a commitment to appear at a fan event in the city and looked to be enjoying himself alongside his fellow Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc (right)

 Sainz (left) even honored a commitment to appear at a fan event in the city and looked to be enjoying himself alongside his fellow Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc (right)

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna turn heads with a passionate display of affectionas he launched his Puma x F1 Collection in Las Vegas

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna turn heads with a passionate display of affectionas he launched his Puma x F1 Collection in Las Vegas

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky surprised fans at the launch - both wearing rugged leather jackets as they entered into the spirit of the event

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky surprised fans at the launch – both wearing rugged leather jackets as they entered into the spirit of the event

Paris Hilton donned a sparkly race suit as she mucked in and jumped into a McLaren race simulator

Paris Hilton donned a sparkly race suit as she mucked in and jumped into a McLaren race simulator

Renee Zellwegger looked to be soaking in the view as she watched on in wonder, wearing a rigged cap and her hair in a loose bun

Renee Zellwegger looked to be soaking in the view as she watched on in wonder, wearing a rigged cap and her hair in a loose bun

Alongside her in the paddock was Bridget Jones Baby co-star Patrick Dempsey - who stylishly congratulated victorious Leclerc in a red blazer and pocket square

Alongside her in the paddock was Bridget Jones Baby co-star Patrick Dempsey – who stylishly congratulated victorious Leclerc in a red blazer and pocket square

The Greys Anatomy star and racing driver was also spotted consoling fan-favourite Daniel Ricciardo, right, after a disappointing 15th in qualifying

The Greys Anatomy star and racing driver was also spotted consoling fan-favourite Daniel Ricciardo, right, after a disappointing 15th in qualifying 

Brad Pitt - who is soon to star in a Formula One based film, Apex - looked collected as also joined the fray

Brad Pitt – who is soon to star in a Formula One based film, Apex – looked collected as also joined the fray

Brad Pitt chats on pit lane as he watches on from the sidelines of the Grand Prix

Brad Pitt chats on pit lane as he watches on from the sidelines of the Grand Prix

Meanwhile, Rod Stewart and Gordon Ramsay made an unlikely pair as they chatted in the Red Bull garage

Meanwhile, Rod Stewart and Gordon Ramsay made an unlikely pair as they chatted in the Red Bull garage

Sainz was penalized with a 10-place grid penalty for repairs needed to his car after driving over the drain cover – which will drop his starting position down to 12th despite the accident being no fault of his own. 

Speaking about it earlier on Friday, he looked far less happy than during his fan event appearance.

He said: ‘Unfortunately as the session finished the team told me I was taking a 10 place grid penalty for something that I and the team have no fault and obviously this has changed completely my mindset and my opinion on the weekend and how the weekend is going to go from now on.

‘You will not see me very happy this weekend. What happened today for me is a very clear example of how this sport can be improved in so many ways.’

Celebrities have turned out in force to watch the inaugural event – as drivers race to the backdrop of several Vegas landmarks, including the Bellagio fountains, Mandalay Bay, Caesars Palace, and the new ball-shaped MSG Sphere. 

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna turn heads with a passionate display of affectionas he launched his Puma x F1 Collection.

And Paris Hilton donned a sparkly race suit as she mucked in and jumped into a McLaren race simulator.

Geri Halliwell cut a stylish figure in cream as she returned to her hotel late last night - after a long day supporting her Red Bull boss husband Christian Horner

Geri Halliwell cut a stylish figure in cream as she returned to her hotel late last night – after a long day supporting her Red Bull boss husband Christian Horner

Sailing singer Stewart also posed up for a picture with his former model wife, Penny Lancaster

Sailing singer Stewart also posed up for a picture with his former model wife, Penny Lancaster

The rock star delighted as he posed for a photo with Red Bull Racing team members in the garage

The rock star delighted as he posed for a photo with Red Bull Racing team members in the garage

Alpine stakeholder Rob McElhenney and his wife and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia co-star Kaitlin Olson were also spotted among the drivers and mechanics

Alpine stakeholder Rob McElhenney and his wife and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia co-star Kaitlin Olson were also spotted among the drivers and mechanics

The actor joined the Alpine garage at a race where Alpine driver Esteban Ocon is wearing a Deadpool helmet in honour of the star's Wrexham co-owner Ryan Reynolds

The actor joined the Alpine garage at a race where Alpine driver Esteban Ocon is wearing a Deadpool helmet in honour of the star’s Wrexham co-owner Ryan Reynolds

Hamilton's Mercedes teammate George Russell arrived with girlfriend Carmen Montero Mundt

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell arrived with girlfriend Carmen Montero Mundt

Muni "Lily" He, professional golfer and girlfriend of Alex Albon walks in the paddock during qualifying

Muni “Lily” He, professional golfer and girlfriend of Alex Albon walks in the paddock during qualifying

Influencer and model Veronika Rajek was also seen arriving by the track in Las Vegas

Rajek was in attendance for qualifying

Influencer and model Veronika Rajek was also seen arriving by the track in Las Vegas

Francisca Gomes, girlfriend of Pierre Gasly, was seen enjoying herself by the paddock

Francisca Gomes, girlfriend of Pierre Gasly, was seen enjoying herself by the paddock 

Pierre Gasly parent's Jean-Jacques & Pascale and his girlfriend Francisca Gomes pose for a photo at the entrance to the paddock

Pierre Gasly parent’s Jean-Jacques & Pascale and his girlfriend Francisca Gomes pose for a photo at the entrance to the paddock

Tennis star Sloane Stephens looks on from the Alpine F1 garage during final practice

Tennis star Sloane Stephens looks on from the Alpine F1 garage during final practice

Renee Zellwegger looked to be soaking in the view as she watched on in wonder, wearing a rigged cap and her hair in a loose bun.

Alongside her in the paddock was Bridget Jones Baby co-star Patrick Dempsey – who stylishly congratulated victorious Leclerc in a red blazer and pocket square.

Brad Pitt – who is soon to star in a Formula One based film, Apex – looked collected as also joined the fray.

Meanwhile, Rod Stewart and Gordon Ramsay made an unlikely pair as they chatted in the Red Bull garage – as the Sailing singer entered into the fun with his wife and former model Penny Lancaster.

Geri Halliwell cut a stylish figure in cream as she returned to her hotel late last night – after a long day supporting her Red Bull boss husband Christian Horner.

Alpine stakeholder Rob McElhenney and his wife and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia co-star Kaitlin Olson were also spotted among the drivers and mechanics – at a race where Alpine driver Esteban Ocon is wearing a Deadpool helmet in honour of the star’s Wrexham co-owner Ryan Reynolds.

George Russell, Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, arrived at the track with his girlfriend Carmen Montero Mundt. Francisca Gomes, girlfriend of Pierre Gasly, was also seen having a laugh as she walked around the paddock.

And Muni “Lily” He, a professional golfer and the girlfriend of Alex Albon, stunned in black as she walked into the paddock during qualifying.

Author Linda Bruckheimer and Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer arrive at the track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Las Vegas at on No

Author Linda Bruckheimer and Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer arrive at the track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Las Vegas at on No

Drivers headed back to the track on Saturday night - where Ferrari favourite Charles Leclerc claimed pole ahead of his stricken teammate, Sainz.

Drivers headed back to the track on Saturday night – where Ferrari favourite Charles Leclerc claimed pole ahead of his stricken teammate, Sainz.

Sainz was penalized with a 10-place grid penalty for repairs needed to his car after driving over the drain cover - which will drop his starting position down to 12th despite the accident being no fault of his own

Sainz was penalized with a 10-place grid penalty for repairs needed to his car after driving over the drain cover – which will drop his starting position down to 12th despite the accident being no fault of his own

Lewis Hamilton also suffered a bad evening, qualifying 11th, having finished a crushing eighth, 63 seconds off winner Verstappen, last time out in Brazil

Lewis Hamilton also suffered a bad evening, qualifying 11th, having finished a crushing eighth, 63 seconds off winner Verstappen, last time out in Brazil

This poor result was despite British Mercedes team-mate George Russell was fourth best over the 3.8-mile circuit

This poor result was despite British Mercedes team-mate George Russell was fourth best over the 3.8-mile circuit

And influencer and model Veronika Rajek was also seen arriving for practice and qualifying. She is well known to some as being a big Tom Brady fan but her sporting interest clearly extends into F1 as well.

Sainz will not be the only one disappointed by the qualifying results – with McLaren’s Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri failing to get out of the bottom five despite arriving at the Grand Prix following a stunning run of form.

Lewis Hamilton also suffered a bad evening, qualifying 11th, having finished a crushing eighth, 63 seconds off winner Verstappen, last time out in Brazil.

His British Mercedes team-mate George Russell was fourth best over the 3.8-mile circuit.

And Dutch superstar Max Verstappen – who has enough points that he could claim the Constructors Championship on his own – only managed third behind both Ferraris.

But in a stunning turn of form, both Williams cars raced into the third round of qualifying – with Alex Albon clutching sixth while American rookie Logan Sargeant managed seventh.

Lewis Hamilton was seen arriving in a flamboyant all-red outfit and sunglasses that caught the eye in the City of Lights.

The Mercedes driver said in the build-up to the race that the cold temperatures at night pose a unique challenge to drivers this week and it was 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 celsius) when he arrived at the track on Friday.

McLaren's Lando Norris (pictured) and Oscar Piastri failing to get out of the bottom five despite arriving at the Grand Prix following a stunning run of form

McLaren’s Lando Norris (pictured) and Oscar Piastri failing to get out of the bottom five despite arriving at the Grand Prix following a stunning run of form

The dejected looking Brit came second last time out in Brazil - even challenging all-conquering Verstappen for the lead

The dejected looking Brit came second last time out in Brazil – even challenging all-conquering Verstappen for the lead

In a stunning turn of form, both Williams cars raced into the third round of qualifying - with Alex Albon clutching sixth while American rookie Logan Sargeant managed seventh

In a stunning turn of form, both Williams cars raced into the third round of qualifying – with Alex Albon clutching sixth while American rookie Logan Sargeant managed seventh

Despite the glitz and the glamour of Vegas, critics have accused F1 of ‘ruining the beauty of Vegas and pricing out people’, while Europeans have hit out at the race starting at 10pm local time on Saturday – which is 6am Sunday in the UK.

Three-time world champion Verstappen, who is expected to win his 18th race of the season, described the GP as ’99 per cent show and one per cent sporting event’.

Organisers have pumped more than £1.3bn into the Las Vegas GP, bringing the sport back to Sin City for the first time since the Caesars Palace Grand Prix was held there in 1981 and 1982. 

The ire came as current F1 champ and three time world champion Max Verstappen – who previously said he disliked the excessive glitz and glamour surrounding the Grand Prix in Vegas – added to event organisers’ woes.

Judging by the star-studded opening ceremony on Wednesday night – and the sheer amount of money invested into the event – it is clear that F1 is leaving no stone unturned to make an impression.

Some £196million was spent on buying a plot of land, while a further £327million was invested to build a permanent pit building and to prepare the 3.85-mile track. F1 has said the track won’t need to be resurfaced for at least another six years.

When asked by F1 journalist Lawrence Barretto whether the circuit was fun to drive and whether he enjoyed it, a deadpan Max Verstappen responded: ‘No. I’ve had better tracks in my life.’

Some £196million was spent on buying a plot of land, while a further £327million was invested to build a permanent pit building and to prepare the 3.85-mile track

Some £196million was spent on buying a plot of land, while a further £327million was invested to build a permanent pit building and to prepare the 3.85-mile track

F1 has said the track won't need to be resurfaced for at least another six years

F1 has said the track won’t need to be resurfaced for at least another six years

Meanwhile, the nocturnal timing of the practice sessions is sure to have angered local residents as the cacophony of engine roars blight the Strip overnight

Meanwhile, the nocturnal timing of the practice sessions is sure to have angered local residents as the cacophony of engine roars blight the Strip overnight

The addition of Las Vegas to the racing calendar comes in the wake of some dubious race locations. F1 has held races in countries such as Bahrain, China, Azerbaijan, Russia and Abu Dhabi which sparked concerns over their human rights records

The addition of Las Vegas to the racing calendar comes in the wake of some dubious race locations. F1 has held races in countries such as Bahrain, China, Azerbaijan, Russia and Abu Dhabi which sparked concerns over their human rights records

Meanwhile, the nocturnal timing of the practice sessions is sure to have angered local residents as the cacophony of engine roars blight the Strip overnight.

F1 commentator and influencer Matt Gallagher said: ‘I can’t believe I’m currently watching cars going round at 3:45am.

‘If the Vegas residents didn’t hate F1 before, they certainly do now.’

F1 Las Vegas said in a statement: ‘There is no higher priority at a Formula 1 race than the safety and security of drivers, fans and staff alike.

‘Following last night’s incident involving a water valve cover, the Las Vegas Grand Prix, F1 and the FIA decided to take extra precautions to ensure the integrity of the track prior to the resumption of racing.

‘These additional measures required multiple hours to fully complete, which led ot a significant delay in the race schedule.

‘Given the lateness of the hour and logistical concerns regarding the safe movement of fans and employees out of the circuit, LVGP made the difficult decision to close the fan zones prior to the beginning of Free Practice 2.

‘With a full round of practice successfully completed, LVGP looks forward to providing a safe and entertaining race weekend for all.’

Earlier this week, F1's owners Liberty Media had to apologise to Las Vegas residents about the road closures causing traffic and the grandstands blocking Sin City landmarks

Earlier this week, F1’s owners Liberty Media had to apologise to Las Vegas residents about the road closures causing traffic and the grandstands blocking Sin City landmarks

Ticket prices and hotel rates had plummeted for the event last week, and although tickets still remain directly from the Las Vegas Grand Prix site, brokers are now reporting there's been a last-minute uptick in interest

Ticket prices and hotel rates had plummeted for the event last week, and although tickets still remain directly from the Las Vegas Grand Prix site, brokers are now reporting there’s been a last-minute uptick in interest

The ticketing company said half of the tickets sold have been since F1's Nov. 5 race in Brazil, and that 30 per cent of tickets purchased are from California-based buyers

The ticketing company said half of the tickets sold have been since F1’s Nov. 5 race in Brazil, and that 30 per cent of tickets purchased are from California-based buyers

The addition of Las Vegas to the racing calendar comes in the wake of some dubious race locations. F1 has held races in countries such as Bahrain, China, Azerbaijan, Russia and Abu Dhabi which sparked concerns over their human rights records.

But celebrating the new addition, drivers and teams have turned out in force with new liveries, helmet designs and race suits especially for the event. 

Looking ahead to the Las Vegas race, F1 chairman and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: ‘It is going to look incredible on TV and will be an unforgettable event to be at in person.’

Earlier this week, F1’s owners Liberty Media had to apologise to Las Vegas residents about the road closures causing traffic and the grandstands blocking Sin City landmarks.

CEO Greg Maffei said: ‘I want to apologise to all the Las Vegas residents and we appreciate that they have their forbearance and their willingness to tolerate us.

‘We’re going to bring something like $1.7 billion of revenue to the area. So it’s not just for the benefit of fans who want to view. We hope this is a great economic benefit in Las Vegas.

‘We hope this is the most difficult year with all the construction that went on and things will be easier in the future.’

Ticket prices and hotel rates had plummeted for the event last week, and although tickets still remain directly from the Las Vegas Grand Prix site, brokers are now reporting there’s been a last-minute uptick in interest.

Both Ferrari's Charles LeClerc and Scuderia AlphaTauri's Daniel Ricciardo have expressed concerns over the high ticket prices

Both Ferrari’s Charles LeClerc and Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo have expressed concerns over the high ticket prices

Gametime said the top-priced seats are listed at $7,109 for the weekend, up from $4,613 one week ago

Gametime said the top-priced seats are listed at $7,109 for the weekend, up from $4,613 one week ago

It's the most expensive race to attend on this year's 24-event calendar

It’s the most expensive race to attend on this year’s 24-event calendar

Gametime said the top-priced seats are listed at $7,109 for the weekend, up from $4,613 one week ago.

Stubhub, meanwhile, said the Las Vegas Grand Prix is the best-selling F1 race of the year and ranks among the top 10 highest-selling sporting events of the entire year globally on the secondary site.

The ticketing company said half of the tickets sold have been since F1’s Nov. 5 race in Brazil, and that 30 per cent of tickets purchased are from California-based buyers.

It’s the most expensive race to attend on this year’s 24-event calendar.

Both Ferrari’s Charles LeClerc and Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo have expressed concerns over the high ticket prices.

‘I hope that Formula 1 is working around that because for sure there’s been many events now that are just incredibly expensive,’ LeClerc told RaceFans. 

Ricciardo added: ‘I would love that everyone can have the option to attend. Obviously I’m not the business behind the sport. 

‘I don’t want to say it’s my ignorance, but I would still love that the general admission [ticket] is affordable for anyone, whatever job they have.

‘Also like real fans that really love the sport cannot even afford to get to the races and actually watch the races. So this is definitely an issue that has to be tackled.’

FULL QUALIFYING RESULTS

1 Charles Leclerc – Ferrari

2 Carlos Sainz – Ferrari *

3 – Max Verstappen – Red Bull

4 George Russell – Mercedes

5 Pierre Gasly – Alpine

6 Alex Albon – Williams 

7  Logan Sargeant – Williams 

8 Valtteri Bottas – Alfa Romeo 

9 Kevin Magnussen – Haas 

10 Fernando Alonso – Aston Martin 

11 Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes 

12 Sergio Perez – Red Bull 

13 Nico Hulkenberg –  Haas 

14 Lance Stroll – Aston Martin **

15 Daniel Ricciardo – AlphaTauri 

16 Lando Norris – McLaren 

17 Esteban Ocon – Alpine 

18 Zhou Guanyu – Alfa Romeo 

19 Oscar Piastri – McLaren 

20 Yuki Tsunoda – AlphaTauri 

 * starts 12th after 10-place grid penalty

** starts 19th after a five-place grid penalty 

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