The opening practice session was red-flagged with less than 10 minutes on the clock when a drain cover broke loose.
It's a double-whammy for Sainz as he was also forced to take a new energy store, a change that attracts a 10-place grid penalty.
While Ricciardo views the penalty as unfair, he has safety concerns regarding the events that triggered it.
“Obviously, we're like ‘yeah, it's a late day' and all that, but obviously two cars got ruined,” he said.
“And along with that, obviously there's a financial thing there for the teams, which is obviously a big issue for them, but then you brought up the biggest thing, which is safety.
“Fortunately, Carlos is okay, but those things could be greater – when I say greater, obviously [I mean] bigger and bigger consequences.”
It's thought Ocon passing over the cover broke it loose, damaging the Alpine in the process as he neared terminal velocity down the long back straight.
With much of a current-spec F1 car's downforce created via a powerful venturi under the car, the impact of the car on the ground coupled with that function combine to incredible effect.
Once loose, when Sainz arrived on the scene the forces exuded by his car on the cover saw the Ferrari sustain significant damage, forcing it to stop on track and draw the red flags.
Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur was furious with the incident, terming it “unacceptable” and noted that it could have been much worse.
It's not the first time such an issue has occurred, with George Russell striking a manhole in Azerbaijan in 2019.
There have been other instances too, prompting Ricciardo to question the way street circuits are prepared – especially this weekend when so much focus has been put on the show surrounding the sport.
“It's easy to say now, like, we did an opening ceremony and were kind of focused on other things; did they do their due diligence on the track?” the Australian quizzed.
“With all that obviously happened today, yeah, you could ask them [the FIA] questions like did they do enough?
“That one, for sure, I can't sidestep that one. That is a safety concern.
“Us being here late, that's fine, but I think the safety one is something hopefully they take pretty seriously.
“Obviously, it's happened in, I think, Monaco and Baku as well, so it's obviously a street circuit thing.
“Permanent circuits have a certain criteria, or whatever, and a lot of boxes to tick, and I feel like street circuits need a few more.
“It just needs more care, and it's hard when I guess it's opening to the public but they obviously need to do that.”
The Las Vegas circuit was homologated following its track inspection by the FIA earlier this week, giving it the green light for racing.
Repairs to the circuit saw a 2.5 hour delay to second practice, which was extended to 90 minutes and ultimately took place in front of empty grandstands.
Fans were removed from the venue due to staffing limitations, leaving a sour taste in the mouth on F1's first visit to Vegas in four decades.
“Obviously that's a bummer,” said Ricciardo, who earlier this week called for the sport to remain accessible to all.
“I guess if we didn't do the FP2 then it probably would have got scrapped and we just would have gone into FP3.
“At least like this maybe the fans got to at the very least watch it on TV.
“We try to be positive but yeah, it's obviously a difficult situation.
“But I also don't want to shit can the sport. It's the first time here, it's a massive project and things unfortunately happened.
“I know no one wanted them to, but I guess they did the best they could with what they had.
“We're trying to make it work. Of course, it's late and everybody's probably a little bit grumpy, but at least we got some running done.”