The Australian Grand Prix organisers have promised to investigate after fans invaded the track before Sunday’s race had officially finished. Some reached the stranded Haas of Nico Hulkenberg on the exit of turn two, raising safety concerns. The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the sport’s governing body, said the incident was a serious breach of the sporting code and has demanded that organisers “urgently present a formal remediation plan”.
Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief executive Andrew Westacott said the outcome at Melbourne’s Albert Park “could have been horrific” and that officials will be trawling through security cameras to try and work out how the breach occurred. He also commented that “Spectators had broken one of the lines, we don’t know how that’s occurred just yet”.
Meanwhile, race organisers have also been criticised by a spectator who suffered a cut to his arm when he was struck by a piece of debris from Haas driver Kevin Magnussen’s car. Will Sweet told Australian radio station 3AW he was standing with his fiancee on a packed hill just off turn two when the Dane’s car hit the trackside barrier, sending his tyre and debris flying into the air. Sweet commented that “It slapped me in the arm and I was just standing there bleeding,” and that “if that had hit my fiancee, it would’ve got her right in the head.”
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation is responsible for hosting the Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne. Established in 1996, the organisation is dedicated to delivering the highest standards to ensure exciting, safe and fan-friendly events at the Albert Park circuit each year. It works closely with Formula One Management and the FIA to ensure that every race meets their exact prevention protocols.
Andrew Westacott is the current chief executive of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. Westacott has decades of experience in the sports and entertainment industry, having previously worked as the CEO of the 2012 Melbourne Grand Prix, part of the 2010 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, and was the Managing Director of the 2004, 2006 and 2008 Australian MotoGP. With his extensive knowledge, Westacott has a wealth of experience in the organisation and management of large-scale events, which stands him in good stead ahead of the investigation into the fan invasion.