Lewis Hamilton Alerts Over Fans Invading Track During Australian Grand Prix


At the Australian Grand Prix, three-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton had to raise a warning as fans spilled onto the track during the closing stages of a captivating race. Championed by Max Verstappen, the performance had been accompanied by three red flags, the highest ever during a Formula 1 contest.

Hamilton, who ran second, reminded his engineer Peter Bonnington: “There are people on the track, some fans have got on”. It was a shocking sight amongst a plethora of incidents, though Max Verstappen dominated the event to secure his second win from the opening three races, extending his race lead over Mercedes rival Sergio Perez to fifteen points.

Fernando Alonso took third for Aston Martin, with Perez driving back from last place to fifth. The race result was ultimately confirmed after 11 PM, bringing an explosive and chaotic weekend in Melbourne to a close.

Michael Masi, chair of the Australian Supercars series, returned to the paddock after the Abu Dhabi controversy in 2021 when a bungled safety car procedure saw Verstappen crowned World Champion, while Lewis Hamilton missed out on history. Masi was seen embracing Red Bull’s sporting director Jonathan Wheatley on Thursday, contrasting to the chilled reception that Mercedes gave him.

The entire weekend’s events posed a dilemma at the heart of Formula 1’s future, as debates surrounding possible changes to the sprint-weekend structure had threatened Verstappen’s walking away from the sport. Subsequent accusations towards the FIA’s decision-making and a reality check from Hamilton drove the weekend’s emotions further.

This incident also illustrates the importance of fan safety and the need for more security for upcoming races in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With the event being aired on TV, the fact that fans were able to join the track raised alarm, leading to questions being asked about the security measures in place.