Leclerc set the early pace in Free Practice 1, which was curtailed after only eight minutes due to a water valve cover working loose and smashing the bottom of team-mate Carlos Sainz’s car.
He also paced FP2 with a fastest time of 1m35.265s, after a lengthy delay while repairs were conducted to the track.
Las Vegas GP FP1 results: Leclerc fastest from Hulkenberg
What happened in Las Vegas GP Free Practice 1?
The hugely anticipated first running on the new 3.9-mile street track didn’t last long. The water valve cover issue that sidelined Sainz’s car brought the session to an early end after just eight minutes.
Sainz’s Ferrari crawled to a halt between the Bellagio and Paris hotels on the Strip, his onboard camera showing that his car had been rendered immobile by an impact from something on the track.
Photo by: Motorsport Images
Marshals load the damaged car of Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, onto a truck
The Ferrari’s chassis, floor and battery were damaged in the impact, as the concrete frame of the water valve cover was ripped up by the force of F1 cars running over it at high speed. The Alpine of Esteban Ocon was also damaged, as it was his car that flicked up the cover.
Valtteri Bottas had set the first timed lap of the track, with a 1m50.227s, but the benchmark swiftly fell with Leclerc working down to 1m40.909s before the red flag.
The Haas duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen were next up, ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ocon.
Las Vegas GP FP2 results: Leclerc fastest from Sainz
|Cla||Nº||Driver||Car / Engine||Time||Delay||Laps|
|2||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1’35.782||0.517||39|
|3||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin/Mercedes||1’35.793||0.528||38|
|4||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||1’36.085||0.820||36|
|5||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1’36.129||0.864||36|
|6||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||1’36.183||0.918||37|
|8||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin/Mercedes||1’36.496||1.231||41|