The FIA has asked the F1 Australian GP promoters for various steps on safety and security after fans get near Nico Hulkenberg’s car.

Post the completion of the F1 Australian GP, away from the TV cameras, fans took the Albert Park circuit which is a normal thing to happen after a grand prix. But as the hours went by, photos and videos emerged of fans climbing fences at certain corners.

As these came through on social media, the FIA stewards summoned the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. The hearing took place on the matter of security breach. It took place when it was found that fans got near the stricken Haas of Hulkenberg.

The German ended up seventh but soon after the race, he was asked to park the car and jump out as quickly as possible. His race engineer alerted him about the car not being safe to touch after an ERS issue which put the car on ‘live’ position.

His engineer asked him to convey the same to the marshal who reached to Hulkenberg. The German jumped off and left and the onboard feed ended before any mechanic or safety personnel arrived. In fact, that feed did not show any fans either until that moment.

Of course, fans would have arrived after that for the FIA to summon the organisers, who during the meeting admitted to security breaches. The governing body have asked them to present a thorough report by June 30, with the matter also referred to WMSC.

The FIA have asked for a proper plan of action after review of handling of Hulkenberg’s stricken car in particular. The Victoria Police is to be consulted too for the security and safety breach at a venue which last saw a similar situation in 2017.

Here’s the full report from the FIA –

The Stewards, having received a report from the FIA Sporting Delegate and the Race Director, having examined video evidence, summoned and heard representatives of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (the « Promoter »), have considered the following matter, and determine the following:

Fact – A large group of spectators managed to break the security lines and accessed the track while the race was still ongoing. The security measures and the protocols which were expected to be in place for the Event were not enforced resulting in an unsafe environment for the spectators, drivers and race officials. Furthermore, spectators were also able to reach Car n° 27, which was parked at exit of Turn 2 and which still had its light flashing red (i.e. the car was in an unsafe condition with possible electrical discharge).

All of this presented significant danger to the spectators ; race officials and the drivers. Offence Breach of Article 12.2.1.h of the 2023 FIA International Sporting Code (i.e. failure to take reasonable measures, thus resulting in an unsafe situation).

Reasoned Decision –

1. The Stewards heard from representatives from the Promoter and from the FIA and considered the video evidence available on the above facts.

2. The Promoter candidly admitted the failures in terms of the security protocols and safety measures. The Promoter concurred with the FIA Sporting Delegate and the Race Director report and agreed that this was an unacceptable situation that could have had disastrous consequences.

3. The Promoter stated, in mitigation, that they would conduct a thorough investigation and take steps to remediate in time for the next event in Australia.

4. In the circumstances, the Stewards hereby determine that:

a. The Promoter breached Article 12.2.1.h of the 2023 FIA International Sporting Code.
b. the Promoter urgently present a formal remediation plan to the FIA that adequately addresses the serious concerns above.
c. In this regard, the Promoter, in an email to the Stewards, has proposed that they take the following steps to do so : “We therefore propose the following draft remedies to actively take steps to ensure there will be no further transgressions:

  • A comprehensive review of the early track breach and the marshals protecting the Hulkenberg car will be conducted.
  • A comprehensive review of the Plan will be conducted.
  • Results and findings of these reviews and detailed recommendations will be documented and provided to the FIA via the ASN for comment and endorsement, as appropriate.
  • The above reviews will include consulting with Victoria Police, Formula 1, the FIA and other aforementioned stakeholders”

d. The Promoter has asked that they be given until 30th June 2023 to carry out the above.

5. As this relates to serious issues around safety and security, the Stewards hereby request the FIA to review and comment on whether the abovementioned steps are adequate to address the concerns raised and to state if any further measure(s) need to be taken, as soon as possible. This should be done directly with the Promoter. The FIA should state a deadline for the same and comment on whether the Promoter’s requested deadline is acceptable.

6. In addition, the Stewards hereby formally refer this incident to the FIA World Motor Sports Council for a further investigation to determine whether any additional steps need to be taken or penalties applied beyond the remediation plan presented by the Promoter (and reviewed by the FIA) to ensure the safe and orderly conduct of future events in Australia.

Here’s FIA dismissing FIA protest

Here’s how F1 Australian GP panned out