F1 patrons won’t be allowed to ‘rush the track’ following this year’s Australian Grand Prix.
Formula One fans will be banned from entering the racetrack after the chequered flag waves at the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.
The ban comes after last year’s event ended dangerously, with footage showing race-goers climbing fencing while drivers were still completing cool-down laps at speed.
Ahead of this year’s Grand Prix in March, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation made the call to disallow the popular tradition amid an investigation by Formula’s governing body, FIA, into the unsafe track invasion of 2023’s event.
“The Australian Grand Prix Corporation advises that given the ongoing FIA investigation into the early track breach at the conclusion of the 2023 event, there will be no track access for patrons following the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2024,” a brief media statement said.
The statement stopped short of banning the tradition for good, adding “Decisions regarding patron access to the track at the conclusion of future races will be made at a later date.”
Footage of last year’s race end prompted the FIA to summon Australian Grand Prix organisers to explain the security breakdown that allowed fans to bypass security and enter the racetrack before the on-track action had finished.
The Australian Grand Prix was consequently found in breach of Article 12.2.1.h of the 2023 FIA International Sporting Code and was ordered to produce remediation plans to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
Melbourne’s event was not the only event to fall afoul of the FIA’s rules, as organisers of the Brazil’s Grand Prix were summoned to explain a similar track invasion in at the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
The practice of allowing fans to enter the track following a Formula 1 race is up to each event organiser – the FIA does not dictate a blanket rule. Until now, fans have traditionally gathered on the main straight of the Albert Park Lake track to celebrate underneath the driver’s podium.
This year’s Australian Grand Prix will take place from March 21-24.
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