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FIA wants tougher F1 grid access restrictions following safety concerns

There could be restrictions to grid access at Formula 1 races for the future after some guests were seen too close to the track during the formation lap.

Spanish GP grid
To news overview © XPBimages

The FIA has hinted at tougher restrictions on grid access for guests at Formula 1 races, after an incident where they were too close to the track during the start of the formation lap.

Guests are permitted if they have a grid pass to access the pre-race build up along with officials and team personnel.

However an incident at the Spanish Grand Prix has put this under spotlight after celebrity guests, including Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr, were positioned at the edge of the grass when the formation lap got underway.

A statement from the World Motorsport Council read: "The FIA President stressed that protecting the health and well-being of everyone on the grid – guests, officials and teams was the FIA’s priority."

The FIA is also reviewing the safety of events generally, as the WMSC awaits the findings of a review into the track invasion that occurred at the end of the Australian Grand Prix in which officials raised 'serious concerns' with safety.

Race officials were summoned to the stewards in the aftermath, with some fans now facing bans from the Albert Park track for approaching Nico Hulkeberg's stopped Haas.

President Ben Sulayem wants action

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said the issue has not just occurred at F1 events, but also other championships including the World Endurance Championship and wants to see action.

“We must take learnings from the incident at the Spanish Grand Prix. The FIA has been assured by Stefano Domenicali (CEO of Formula 1), that measures are being taken to ensure that there is no repeat of the incident," said President Ben Sulayem.

“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 motor sport is the Federation’s main priority.”

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