F1: FIA to clamp down on grid access after Neymar incident at Spanish GP

F1: FIA to clamp down on grid access after Neymar incident at Spanish GP

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) could clamp down on access to the Formula 1 grid on race day after an incident that involved Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil footballer Neymar at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Celebrities, F1 team members and media are usually granted access to the grid before the start of a race but it could now change after the FIA raised concerns over an incident at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya a fortnight ago.

Celebrity guests that included Neymar were still standing at the edge of the main straight of the track as the formation lap began. Such puts those still around the race track at risk owing to the high speeds F1 cars move at once the engines are fired.

That incident as well as the crowd invasion that occurred at the end of the Australian Grand Prix in April, were topics discussed at the latest meeting of the World Motor Sport Council held on Tuesday.

The FIA are awaiting a report on the incident in Melbourne and the governing body’s president Mohammad Ben Sulayem suggested that a restriction on access to the grid may be the way forward.

“We must take learnings from the incident at the Spanish Grand Prix,” he said.

“The FIA has been assured by Stefano Domenicali (CEO of Formula 1), that measures are being taken to ensure that there is no repeat of the incident.

“It is an issue not just in Formula 1 but also in Formula E and World Endurance Championship and other categories from my recent experiences with too many people on the grid at some events.

“I have no doubt that in all cases, the promoter will adhere to the FIA requirements on safety and security.

“It is the duty of the FIA to ensure a safe environment for all. Safety in motorsport is the Federation’s main priority.”

Neymar was not the only footballer present at the Spanish Grand Prix. His PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe was present likewise Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Barcelona duo Sergio Busquets and Robert Lewandowski, former Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez and Chelsea duo Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell.

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