Rambunctious Aussie Formula One fans have been banned from accessing the track after this year’s Australian Grand Prix in March following a dangerous end to the 2023 race.
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation has decided to ban spectators for at least the 2024 event and possibly permanently, confirming its decision in a statement released on Thursday.
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Spectators broke through security barriers and entered the circuit towards the finish, with some reaching Nico Hulkenberg’s parked Haas at the exit of turn two.
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) were forced to front stewards and admitted to safety and security failures in the “unacceptable situation that could have had disastrous consequences”.
An investigation was opened by the FIA, motorsport’s global governing body, and remains ongoing, prompting local officials to take action eight weeks out from this year’s race on March 24.
“Please note that the Australian Grand Prix Corporation advises that given the ongoing FIA investigation into the early track breach at the conclusion of the 2023 event, there will be no track access for patrons following the Australian Grand Prix (in) 2024,” organizers said in an email to fans.
“Decisions regarding patron access to the track at the conclusion of future races will be made at a later date,” the AGPC said.
More than 440,000 fans attended the Australian Grand Prix weekend in Melbourne last year, where a chaotic race unfolded which was the first in F1 history to be restarted three times after a series of red flags due to crashes and mechanical failures.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen schooled Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) for the win.