FIA set to limit grid access after Neymar incident in Spain

FIA set to limit grid access after Neymar incident in Spain

The FIA is set to introduce tighter rules limiting pre-race grid access for top races including Formula 1 following a Neymar-related incident at this year’s Spanish Grand Prix.

In the lead-up to races for F1, Formula E, the World Endurance Championship, and similar series, celebrities, invited visitors, and members of the international media are permitted to join series officials and team staff on the grid in a restricted number.

This access is currently under investigation after it was discovered that visitors, including Brazilian footballer Neymar, were still standing at the main straight’s grassy edge as the formation lap for this month’s Spanish Grand Prix began.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council is currently waiting for the outcome of an investigation into a track invasion that occurred late in the Australian GP in April. In the aftermath, race officials were summoned by the stewards.

A report on the incident is anticipated to be submitted by the event’s promoter in June. The FIA anticipates a remediation plan that addresses the safety and security concerns as part of this.

According to relevant sources, limiting grid access is one of the measures in the works. The WMSC stated that the FIA’s top priority was safeguarding the health and well-being of everybody on the grid, including guests, officials, and teams.

“We must take learnings from the incident at the Spanish Grand Prix,” FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem said. “The FIA has been assured by Stefano Domenicali [F1 CEO] that measures are being taken to ensure that there is no repeat of the incident.

“It is an issue not just in Formula 1 but also in Formula E and World Endurance Championship and other categories from my recent experiences with too many people on the grid at some events.

“I have no doubt that in all cases, the promoter will adhere to the FIA requirements on safety and security. It is the duty of the FIA to ensure a safe environment for all. Safety in motorsport is the Federation’s main priority.”

F1 has occasionally let famous guests enter the grid as the cars leave. It planned a unique photo shoot with Usain Bolt at the 2017 US GP just before the formation lap began.

The single providers of knock sensors (Bosch) and insulation monitoring devices (Bender GmbH & Co. KG) for the new F1 power unit regulations starting in 2026 were selected at the WMSC meeting on Tuesday in Cordoba, Spain.

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