"Dangerous Incident" Prompts FIA to Take Immediate Action

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix saw a near miss between Esteban Ocon's Alpine car and multiple individuals gathered for the podium ceremony, leading the FIA to take immediate action to prevent a repeat of the incident.

by Faruk Imamovic
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"Dangerous Incident" Prompts FIA to Take Immediate Action

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix saw a near miss between Esteban Ocon's Alpine car and multiple individuals gathered for the podium ceremony, leading the FIA to take immediate action to prevent a repeat of the incident.

Investigation into the Near Miss

An investigation into the incident was launched immediately following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix by the stewards, who are appointed by the FIA but maintain impartiality through independent decision-making.

The investigation revealed that representatives of the FIA had permitted media personnel and others to gather in the start of the pit lane and the pit wall during the last lap of the race, despite the pit lane being open and before Ocon's final pit stop.

According to a statement from the stewards: "We noted that it was not unusual for the representatives to allow such persons into the pit lane just before the end of the race, in the usual course of preparation for parc ferme and the podium ceremony.

However, in this case, there was one driver that had to pit in the last lap and this created a very dangerous situation for those that were in the pit lane at the time. We considered that it was fortunate that there were no serious consequences on account of what happened today.

We stressed that the requirements of ensuring a safe and orderly event are paramount."

FIA's Response to the Incident

The stewards emphasized the paramount importance of ensuring a safe and orderly event and acknowledged the FIA team's regret at the occurrence of the incident.

The stewards required the FIA representatives to reconsider the procedures and protocols in consultation with relevant stakeholders, including FOM, the teams, and the FIA, to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future.

The FIA representatives assured the stewards that they would take the necessary steps to revise their procedures and protocols in time for the next event. Despite the dangerous situation, there were no serious consequences as a result of the incident.

"This was acknowledged by the FIA team. We walked through the relevant procedures and protocol with the FIA representatives in detail and required them to take immediate steps to reconsider these procedures and protocols with the relevant stakeholders (including FOM, the teams and the FIA) to ensure that this situation does not occur again.

The FIA representatives expressed their regret at what happened and assured us that they would do so in time for the next event." Ocon, who was running in ninth place at the time, pitted in the hopes of changing his tires and remaining in a points-paying position. However, he finished the race in 15th place.

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