Formula 1

FIA’s New Safety Directive: Banning Pyrotechnics at F1 Races in 2024

In a significant move to enhance safety at Formula 1 events, the FIA has banned pyrotechnic products, including flares and smoke bombs, starting in 2024. This decision addresses the dangerous situations that have emerged from fan celebrations, especially among Max Verstappen’s supporters.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explicit Ban Included in Regulations: The FIA’s 2024 International Sporting Code now explicitly prohibits pyrotechnic products at Formula 1 events, reflecting the organization’s commitment to safety.
  • History of Dangerous Situations: The ban follows numerous incidents where the use of flares and smoke bombs compromised visibility and safety, including cases where fans threw flares onto the track.
  • Shift in Fan Celebrations Over Time: Initially a tradition among Ferrari fans, the use of colored smoke has become increasingly popular with Max Verstappen’s supporters, particularly at races with a significant Dutch presence.

In the world of Formula 1, the atmosphere at race events is electric, often amplified by the colorful displays of smoke bombs and flares. However, these vibrant celebrations have raised serious safety concerns, prompting the FIA to take decisive action.

Historically, red smoke from flares was a signature of Ferrari fans, known as the Tifosi. This tradition has evolved, with orange smoke now becoming a hallmark of Max Verstappen’s fan base. The Grand Prix events in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria, in particular, have witnessed large gatherings of Verstappen supporters, resulting in circuits being shrouded in dense orange fog.

Despite the visual spectacle, these practices have had their downsides. The resulting poor visibility, combined with the danger of flares being thrown onto the track, has created perilous conditions for both drivers and spectators. Consequently, race organizers at circuits like Zandvoort and Spa-Francorchamps had already taken steps to ban such products at their venues.

In a move to standardize safety measures across all Formula 1 events, the FIA’s 2024 International Sporting Code will include a comprehensive ban on all ‘pyrotechnic products.’ This encompasses any device intended to produce effects like heat, light, sound, gas, or smoke. By implementing this ban, the FIA aims to mitigate the risks posed by these items and ensure a safer racing environment for everyone involved. This decision marks a significant shift in how fan celebrations will be conducted at F1 races, balancing the need for excitement with the paramount importance of safety.

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