Mexican Grand Prix F1 paddock fans set to be reduced due to security concerns

Mexican Grand Prix F1 paddock fans set to be reduced due to security concerns

Mexican Grand Prix organisers have made an effort to minimize the number of spectators in the paddock in order to prevent a recurrence of the security incidents from 2022.

The Mexican Grand Prix promoters together with F1 have taken steps to reduce paddock access for this weekend’s race in an effort to prevent a recurrence of the venue’s security-related issues from the previous year.

At the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 2022, a paddock packed with guests and VIPs caused congestion that made it difficult for drivers and team personnel to move about at their workstations. Spectators also crowded hospitality units and accosted drivers and as a result, they frequently arrived late for meetings or appointments.

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly noted that someone had opened his backpack, and several of his colleagues had reported that there had been an excessive number of paddock visitors. Gasly brought up the matter once more at the Italian Grand Prix when strangers had been knocking on his door at the Alpine hospitality.

The overcrowding in Mexico and many other venues is a direct outcome of Formula 1’s efforts to become more inclusive, with drivers now restricted to their own private areas with team facilities whenever possible.

Now that the drivers have voiced their concerns, the Mexican Grand Prix organisers have collaborated with F1 to lower the number of spectators in the paddock during this weekend’s event.

“We have been working hand in hand with Formula 1 to see how we can reduce the requests,” said the race’s marketing director Rodrigo Sanchez.

“There are a lot of requests from teams and sponsors that are coming in and we have to find a way to keep those lists as small as possible, so that we can have a much more comfortable environment in the paddock.”

The organisers have additionally launched a marketing campaign to remind fans that the paddock is a workplace above all else and to treat drivers with more respect. Fans are advised to leave the rivalry between the F1 drivers to the track through large billboards erected across the city.

“The paddock is a working area for the drivers and for the teams,” Sanchez explained.

“Those few who have the privilege of being able to enter this restricted part of the racetrack, should know how to behave in a certain way and ask them to have an exemplary behaviour.

“Otherwise, the race cannot work.”

The actions taken are in response to last weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, where home hero Sergio Perez’s teammate Max Verstappen was jeered.

Red Bull has reportedly increased security to keep an eye on Verstappen and other important team personnel; this is in line with the routine that was put in place for the Dutchman’s home race in Zandvoort.

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