Organisers of the Las Vegas Grand Prix are facing a class action lawsuit following the farcical start to this weekend’s race on the strip.
Formula One sold the sport’s Sin City comeback after four decades away as the greatest show on Earth.
But fans witnessed just eight minutes of practice on Thursday after a drain cover broke free and tore a hole into the underbelly of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari.
The second running was delayed by two-and-a-half hours, and took place in front of vacant grandstands as furious fans were ejected to comply with local employment laws. Practice finished at 4am on Friday morning.
Spectators who held a 200 US dollar (£160) general admission ticket for Thursday’s two practice sessions have since been offered a voucher for the same amount to be redeemed on merchandise.
But those in attendance on a three-day pass – the cheapest of which is 500 US dollars (£400) – will not receive any compensation.
On Friday, Nevada-based Dimopoulos Law Firm and co-counsel JK Legal & Consulting filed a lawsuit with the Nevada District Court seeking damages for the 35,000 paying spectators.
“We will vindicate the rights of the fans that travelled great distances and paid small fortunes to attend, but were deprived of the experience,” said Dimopoulos Law Firm owner Steve Dimopoulos in a statement.
A spokesperson for 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.”
Earlier, F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali stopped short of issuing an apology in a 650-word joint statement with CEO of the Las Vegas race, Renee Wilm.
“We have all been to events, like concerts, games and even other Formula One races, that have been cancelled because of factors like weather or technical issues,” they said.
“It happens, and we hope people will understand.”
The maiden race on the Las Vegas strip gets underway at 10pm local time on Saturday (6am GMT on Sunday).