McLaren blamed a “bump” in the Las Vegas street circuit track for a serious accident which hospitalised their driver Lando Norris early in Sunday’s race.
Norris, 24, had to go to a nearby hospital for precautionary checks after losing the rear of his car, spinning and sliding along the outside wall backwards at high speed on lap three of the race.
The British driver was fortunately discharged without any serious injuries, posting a series of pictures of him being treated, and looking decidedly woozy, as he was transported to hospital, although the 24-year-old suggested he would recover in time for the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.
“An unfortunate end to our Las Vegas GP weekend,” said Norris in McLaren’s post-race press release. “I just bottomed out on the restart, lost the rear and hit the wall.
“Not the way we wanted the weekend to end. Big thanks go to the medical staff for checking me over, and to the team for the work they’ll now put in on the car. One week to reset and go again for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.”
Yet it was another worrying incident to add to the loose manhole cover which caused such chaos in practice on Thursday, wrecking Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari and causing the Spaniard to temporarily lose the feeling in his legs.
“There’s a bump in that place,” McLaren team principal Andrea Stella replied when asked what caused the crash. “You can see all cars sparkle when they go through this bump. I think the combination of the bump and the cold tyres might have surprised him.”
He added: “I think that bump, if we carry on racing at night time, should be fixed, because the tyres will always be cold. Low grip and it becomes a very tricky corner.
“Already during the weekend, we saw cases of oversteer in that place. So independently of the timetable, we would strongly recommend that this bump is smoothened out.”