Australian GP organisers are looking into why fans were able to pour onto the circuit while cars were still making it back to the pits after the race.
Following Sebastian Vettel’s victory at Albert Park, Formula 1 fans started flooding onto the run-off areas at various points while the Ferrari driver and others were still on their cool down lap.
As Vettel went around the final sector, heading to the pits to celebrate his win, TV cameras captured loads of fans running onto the circuit.
The cars were still going fairly quickly by normal standards and some F1 enthusiasts even started wandering onto the tarmac too.
We thought it looked a bit dangerous and strange, usually the cars have to be back in the pits before fans are allowed onto the track to gather in front of the podium.
That should’ve been the case according to Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) executive Andrew Westacott.
He told Speedcafe officials are now investigating what happened:
“I am concerned because we have very, very strict processes that for 21 races have worked beautifully so something went amiss. We don’t know what yet, but we have got an investigation happening with our people, including CAMS, who obviously look after the track from a race organisation point of view and a race control point of view.
“All the logs and everything else is going to be investigated. We have to make sure that spectator safety both from the track point of view and throughout the venue, and also the workers who will be loading up the freight tonight, is looked after. I don’t think there was any malicious intent on behalf of the public.”
Westacott said it could’ve been due to a miscommunication or mistake with the signals, before admitting he wouldn’t speculate on why it happened until he had all the facts. He added:
“But rest assured these things and the safety of everyone is paramount and we will be making sure that immediately in the debrief any learnings we can do are going to be implemented and we can work through it. We have CCTV, we have radio logs and other things so we can understand what happened.”
Even the drivers noticed what happened, with Vettel saying on the podium it was “quite mad but in a good way” and “unbelievable”.