The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has announced it will conduct an “urgent and thorough investigation” into the circumstances that saw spectators able to access the circuit while the cars were returning to the pits at the end of last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
The globally broadcast world feed showed hundreds of spectators standing trackside while race-winner Sebastian Vettel and his fellow drivers returned to the pits on their slow-down lap at the end of the race.
While the spectators did not impede any of the cars returning to the pits, the issue was a clear safety breach and could lead to sanctions for the event’s organisers, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, from the FIA.
CAMS’ initial statement into the matter indicates that fans were able to infiltrate the Albert Park circuit at Turns 14, 15 and 16 “as a consequence of one of the event course cars prematurely opening the circuit without clearance from Race Control”.
Fans are allowed onto the track once the course cars have given them clearance, with thousands typically flooding the start/finish straight to watch the post-race podium ceremony (pictured).
“I am concerned because we have very, very strict processes that for 21 races have worked beautifully so something went amiss,” the AGPC’s chief executive, Andrew Westacott, said after the race.
Image via Jordan Mulach