F1 Canadian Grand Prix promoter reprimanded after track invasion

F1 Canadian Grand Prix event promoter reprimanded after track invasion

The FIA has reprimanded the Canadian Grand Prix promoter for its failure to stop a track invasion shortly before the conclusion of Sunday’s race in Montreal.

F1 governing body the FIA has taken a strong stand against a safety violation that happened during the Canadian Grand Prix with the event promoter Octane Racing Group receiving an official reprimand following track invasion by spectators just after the race.

Several spectators made their way into Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve before all cars got to Parc Ferme after the chequered flag was waved and racers drove back to the pits on the cooldown lap. This posed a potential safety hazard for both drivers and spectators.

While fans of classic Formula 1 may remember experiences of racers like Nigel Mansell being crowded by onlookers at Silverstone following his victory in 1992, track invasions have since been discouraged as they pose several health and safety risks.

Autosport reports that the FIA decided to take a more formal action against the event promoters in response to concerns that Sunday’s Montreal track invasion wasn’t the first.

A representative of the Canadian Grand Prix promoter, Octane Racing Group, was summoned before the FIA stewards and was cited for violation of Article 12.2.1.h of the 2024 FIA International Sporting Code – failure to take reasonable measures, thus resulting in an unsafe situation.

This article adresses the promoter’s responsibility to guarantee that the necessary safety precautions are in place . The stewards determined that the unsafe environment resulted from either insufficient or improper enforcement of security measures, personnel, or equipment.

“A large group of spectators managed to break the security lines and accessed the track in several areas while the race was finishing and cars were still on track,” read the stewards’ notes.

“The security measures and/or security officers and/or equipment which were expected to be in place for the Event were not either enforced or were not sufficient resulting in an unsafe environment for the spectators and drivers.”

Despite allocating more resources, the promoter admitted during the stewards’ hearing that their organization’s security protocols were not perfect. They acknowledged that the incident was unacceptable and pledged to conduct a thorough investigation to prevent this from ever happening again.

“The Promoter candidly admitted that the safety measures in place did not achieve the goal to prevent spectators from entering the track,” the stewards noted.

“They concurred with the FIA Sporting Delegate and the Race Director report and agreed that this was an unacceptable situation.

“The Promoter stated, in mitigation, that they would conduct a thorough investigation and take steps to remediate in time for the next event in Canada.

“They also expressed their disappointment as they had already invested significant resources in improving the safety measures, but apparently this did not have the desired effect.”

The Octane Racing Group has been mandated by the stewards to provide the FIA with a formal remediation plan by September 30th. The plan must include the specific steps they will take to stop track invasions in the future.

The safety and security protocols at all circuits have been the subject of a wider investigation by the stewards, who acknowledge their significance. The goal of this proactive strategy is to find and fix any possible vulnerabilities within Formula One.

The stewards stressed once more that there will be a heavy financial penalty for any further infractions.

The track invasion that happened in Montreal on Sunday is similar to something that happened at the Australian Grand Prix in 2023. After the race, fans at Melbourne’s Albert Park breached security, just like they did in Canada.

The FIA acted decisively in the aftermath of that incident, banning the usual post-race track walk for this year’s event.

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