Formula 1

F1 News: Shocking Incidents Prompt FIA to Rethink Celebrity Grid Access

Star-studded appearances, celebrity interactions, and close-up views of the team preparations have long been a part of the electrifying pre-race grid walk in world-class racing events like Formula 1. But all this might be on the brink of transformation. A string of recent safety incidents has sparked discussions on revising the grid walk procedures, marking a potential sea-change in how these events unfold.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 22: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 leads Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari F1-75 and George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 during the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 22, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202205220652 // Usage for editorial use only //

In the wake of a track invasion at the Spanish Grand Prix, the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) is now eagerly awaiting a detailed report from the event organisers. This report, due in June, is expected to lay out strategies to enhance safety and security measures at such events. This action came into being when a few invitees remained at the side of the track as the formation lap was initiated, raising concerns about safety.

In the eye of this storm, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem emphasised on the need to draw lessons from this incident. He was quoted saying, “We must take learnings from the incident at the Spanish Grand Prix. The FIA has been assured by Stefano Domenicali [F1 CEO] that measures are being taken to ensure that there is no repeat of the incident. It is the duty of the FIA to ensure a safe environment for all. Safety in motor sport is the Federation’s main priority.”

Sources from Autosport suggest that the WMSC could answer these safety concerns by potentially restricting grid access. Such an action would mark a major departure from past events where celebrities, like Usain Bolt and Kylie Minogue, freely accessed the grid as the race was about to kick-off.

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