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Troubled Las Vegas Grand Prix hit by lawsuit on behalf of 35,000 fans

The struggling Las Vegas Grand Prix has been the subject of a lawsuit on behalf of 35,000 fans.

Already controversial for its price, comparisons with English non-league football and a manhole cover incident, Formula 1’s return to Sin City has hit another steep curve.

The race is set to start at 6am UK time on Sunday, with Briton George Russell starting in third position for Mercedes, behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on pole position.

Sunday’s competition was the subject of a class-action lawsuit after the much-anticipated first action on the neon-lit circuit – Thursday’s practice session – lasted less than nine minutes.

Fans who had purchased tickets to the event hoping to see drivers demolish the Las Vegas Strip at breathtaking speeds instead watched a loose manhole cover. tore a hole in Carlos Sainz’s Ferraribringing the proceedings to an abrupt end.

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The “shambolic” Las Vegas Grand Prix interrupted

It was a five-and-a-half-hour delay while crews removed the 30 covers along the 3.8-mile route and filled the holes with sand and asphalt.

A second 90-minute practice session began in front of empty stands in the middle of the night, long after fans had been evacuated, a move officials called a necessary safety measure.

Las Vegas Grand Prix officials attempted to limit the damage by offering $200 (£160) merchandise vouchers to one-day ticket holders, but compensation did not extend to those who had purchased three-day passes.

“There are a number of problems with this (compensation),” attorney Steve Dimopoulos said.

“A lot of fans probably don’t even want that, they want their money back.

“There are also peripheral issues regarding people coming from out of town who have paid for major plane tickets and hotels.”

News of the lawsuit comes after Verstappen – reigning world champion – compared the Las Vegas Grand Prix to the fifth tier of English football, while suggesting fans just want to “face each other”.

“Monaco is the Champions League and here it’s the National League,” he declared.

“I feel like the spectacle is important, but I like the emotion. When I was little, it was the emotion of the sport that I fell in love with and not the spectacle. As a real runner , the show should be it doesn’t matter.”

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