The traditional track walk continues to be an integral part of the race weekend for drivers and their engineering teams. The track walk is listed on the official weekend timetable, giving teams the opportunity to complete a lap and discuss the challenges the weekend may present. In Jeddah, the track walk was scheduled for Thursday, from 1 pm to 4:30 pm, with an additional evening slot open to anyone. However, some drivers prefer to view the track while cycling, and with the advent of electric bikes and scooters, the track walk was becoming increasingly chaotic. The track organisers have now banned all forms of wheeled transportation to make it safer for the drivers and engineers during their team track walks.
A letter issued to the teams from FOM during the recent Bahrain GP weekend specified that no means of transport, including bicycles, e-bikes, scooters, and e-scooters, would be permitted during the time window stated as ‘Team Track Walks’ on the Event Timetable. FOM has responsibility for the track between official sessions, although the note mentioned the FIA. The announcement hasn’t clarified whether any punishment would be given to anyone who transgresses from following the new edict.
Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc expressed his disappointment with the new ruling. He revealed that he didn’t walk around the Jeddah track and stated that with the new rule, it is unlikely that he would be seen cycling around future tracks, and he would instead choose to watch videos. However, some teams have had to adapt to these changes, compromising their team track walks because F1 closed the track on Thursday evening to shoot a music video for an upcoming new single from rapper Will.I.Am. Nico Hulkenberg expresses his dissatisfaction, stating that he wanted to do his walk, but the track was blocked by F1, obliging him to change his schedule and see the track tomorrow.