The record for the latest, and earliest, start to a Formula 1 session has been broken after an unprecedented day in Las Vegas.
We managed just two laps in FP1 before an early curtailment of the opening session after a loose manhole cover caused damage to the cars of both Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon.
After the engineering team completed the necessary works on the track, an extended FP2 eventually got underway at 02:30 local time and there was plenty of work to be done.
Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant each completed 42 laps across the 90-minute session, setting their best times earlier than the majority of drivers, as we switched to gathering some long-run data.
Our number 23 finished FP2 in P10 with a best time of 1:36.688, whilst our American racer was P20 with a 1:38.140 to his name when the chequered flag flew at 4am.
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“It’s a tricky track but it wasn’t too bad, however, it’s going to be all about the braking,” Alex explained.
“As soon as you get confident on the brakes, you’re going to be quite quick. Being a new track, the evolution is extremely high, but I do think we’re in good shape and the car is in a good place.
“We’re going to have to do a bit of fine tuning which is expected but the pace was good. I think the long run is a little more difficult because of the cold temperatures but otherwise, I feel good.”
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Logan continued our reaction by sharing: “It was a tricky session with extremely low grip.
“Obviously with the temperatures as well, it’s taking a long time for the tyres to come in. The long run at the end wasn’t too bad but we need to figure out the low fuel stuff for tomorrow. There’s a lot of data to get through from that session.
“It’s really about switching the tyre on as quick as we can as that makes a huge difference for both me and the car and we’ll figure out the best way to do that.”
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, was happy to have some meaningful running under our belt after so much build-up to this all-new event.
“It has been a very long day here in Las Vegas, but it was good to get some proper running in during FP2,” he shared.
“The grip was very low for a lot of the session but improved steadily as more laps were completed.
“Both drivers showed good pace across the compound range and were able to gather a lot of useful data and experience.
“There isn’t a lot of working time between now and FP3, but we will use what time there is to learn from today’s running and find some more pace from the FW45.
“It has been great to run the cars on this exciting new circuit and in such an iconic city. We’ve started the weekend well but there is a long way still to go and more performance to find.”
The prediction window for this Grand Prix has now closed.