The Australian Grand Prix was marred by chaos as a large number of spectators invaded the track following the race. Photos showed fans breaking through security lines and climbing on catch fencing while some even reached Nico Hulkenberg‘s Haas, which was stopped on track with a technical issue. The stewards investigated the incident and referred the matter to the FIA‘s World Motor Sport Council for further investigation, as they felt safety and security had been significantly compromised. The promoter of the event has promised to conduct a comprehensive review of its security measures and address the concerns raised.
The FIA stewards had initially investigated the incident and reported the promoter for failing to enforce expected safety protocols, leading to an unsafe environment for everyone involved. The stewards also raised the issue of spectators reaching Hulkenburg’s car, which was parked at the exit of Turn 2 with its red light flashing, indicating that it was in an unsafe condition with a possible electrical discharge. The stewards felt this presented a significant danger to drivers, race officials, and spectators alike.
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation has promised to take remedial steps to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future. The measures proposed include a comprehensive review of the security breach and the marshals protecting Hulkenburg’s car. Additionally, a review of the entire plan will be conducted, and the results and recommendations will be documented and shared with the FIA. The reviews will include consulting with Victoria Police, Formula 1, the FIA, and other stakeholders.
The panel of stewards in Melbourne referred the incident back to the FIA for further consideration, given the serious issues around safety and security. The stewards requested that the FIA review and comment on the steps proposed by the promoter and whether any further measures need to be taken. They also referred the matter to the FIA World Motor Sports Council for a thorough investigation to determine whether any additional steps need to be taken or penalties applied beyond the proposed remediation plan. The stewards have requested that the FIA set a deadline for the same and comment on whether the promoter’s deadline is acceptable.
In light of this incident, the promoter of the Australian Grand Prix needs to take proactive and thorough measures to ensure that such events do not unfold again in the future. The safety of everyone involved in these events must be a top priority, and it is only through enacting the necessary measures that fans and drivers alike can enjoy a safe and enjoyable experience. The FIA and the World Motor Sports Council must also do their part in ensuring that such incidents are appropriately addressed and that there is no repeat of such a situation in the future.