IN FULL: FIA Azerbaijan pit lane decision
By Mat Coch
Monday 1st May, 2023 - 2:03am
A hearing into the incident which saw Esteban Ocon confronted by a crowd of people in the pit lane during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix resulted in the FIA being found in breach of its own International Sporting Code.
Ocon looked to serve his compulsory stop as he started the final lap in Baku, only to encounter preparations for the post-race celebrations blocking his path.
Luckily the crowd moved as the speeding Alpine approached in a situation that should never have happened.
Representatives of the FIA were summoned to the stewards following the Azerbaijan race, where the matter was discussed.
From that, the sport’s governing body has been tasked with reviewing and updating its post-race procedures, which it has willingly agreed to.
Any changes are expected to be implemented in time for next weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.
Stewards decision in full
“The Stewards heard from the FIA representatives and determined that the relevant representatives took steps to set up the parc ferme area and also permitted media and other personnel to gather in the start of the pit lane and the pit wall during the last lap of the race, while the pit lane was open and before the final pit stop of OCO (Car 31).
“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
“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.
“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.”
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