The paddock was overflowing with paddock guests and VIPs last weekend at Monza, which just goes to show the kind of popularity Formula One has reached. However, F1 driver Pierre Gasly demanded action against the crowding of the paddock and hospitality after people knocked on his room door.
F1 drivers cherish the attention they receive from fans, but it can become bothersome in an area like the paddock when the presence of large crowds prevents them and their team members from moving around the workplace. In addition, the crowds also hinder equipment from being moved around in the paddock. Not only that, people managed to intrude into the team’s hospitality units that house Formula 1 drivers.
Gasly was shocked by the number of knocks he heard on the door from fans waiting to see him. Raising security concerns, Gasly revealed that he doesn’t mind the attention the drivers get from fans, but he also emphasized that fans must give enough space to their favorite drivers and allow them to do their jobs on time. He told Autosport.com:
“This isn’t the first time fans have come in such close proximity to the drivers. Last year during the Mexico Grand Prix weekend, Gasly found that someone had opened his backpack during his walk through the paddock.”
“I love fans, and I always love to stop by and give some time. But then it’s obviously our work environment.
“Sometimes it’s a bit tricky to get around and make sure that we are on time for the commitments that we got because it’s minute by minute, and it’s clearly one of the busiest pitlanes.
“It’s very enjoyable, but sometimes it’s even people knocking at the door inside the hospitality, you wonder how they got there.
“So [people need to] give the space we need to work properly.”
The F1 authorities must take note to ensure that the drivers can move around the paddock safely and freely. Maybe limiting the number of paddock guests would be one way to start.