Australian GP Crowd Track Invasion Under Investigation


Crowd, Australia Grand Prix. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

The organisers of the Australian Grand Prix are investigating the circumstances that allowed fans to spill out on to the track during the cool down lap of the race.

As the cars made their way back to the pits, spectators managed to gain access to the Albert Park Circuit at Turns 14, 15 and 16. Despite there being no incident or hindrance caused as a result of the breach, an investigation is under way due to the importance of both drivers’ and supporters’ safety.

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation is working to ensure that the incident isn’t repeated at future race weekends.

I am concerned because we have very, very strict processes that for 21 races have worked beautifully so something went amiss,” chief executive Andrew Westacott told Speedcafe.com.

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.

Westascott believes a miscommunication could be at fault, though a thorough examination of local CCTV cameras will be undertaken.

From what I am led to believe, there could have been a mistake made in the signals as to when people could exit onto the track, but that is being investigated, so I won’t speculate on the outcome of that until I have 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.  I am very, very pleased that one of our Australian Grand Prix Corporation staff was on hand to make sure that people were able to be held back when the final cars were coming passed.”

However, race winner Sebastian Vettel did relish in the opportunity to share the moment with the fans.

It  was quite mad in a positive way when I was coming back to the pits and the people were running on the track going wild with the Ferrari flags, you know it was unbelievable,” he said.