FIA warns F1 teams over pitwall fence celebrations

It’s a long-standing tradition in F1, but the FIA says that team members rushing towards the pitwall and climbing the fence to celebrate their driver’s win will now be referred to and eventually punished by the stewards.

Actually, climbing the fence for a collective celebratory salute has been outlawed since the 2006 F1 season, but the rule was never enforced.

However, the FIA now believes that it’s time to put a halt to what it considers as a practice that puts team members lives at risk.

Appendix H, Article 2.3.2 of the FIA’s International Sporting Code (ISC) states: “Organisers of races are reminded that the pit lane represents a potentially dangerous area during the running of a competition, not only because of the racing cars using it but also in view of accidents which may occur owing to cars being on the race track adjacent to it.

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“Therefore, access to the pit lane should be exclusively reserved during practice and races for those persons specially authorised and having a specific job to do.

“The pit wall signalling platform should be forbidden to all except authorised officials or race team personnel, having a special pass; the presence of any person in this zone should be strictly prohibited during the start of a race, unless there is adequate protection in place, at the discretion of the race director, if appointed, or the clerk of the course.

“Team personnel are only allowed in the pit lane immediately before they are required to work on a car and must withdraw as soon as the work is complete.

“It is forbidden for personnel to climb on pit wall debris fences at any time. Any action by a team breaching this ban will be reported to the stewards.”

F1 Race Director Neils Wittich said the tightened up rule will be implemented from the start of the weekend’s Australian Grand Prix event.

But regardless of who crosses the checkered flag first this weekend, it’s unlikely that team members will converge to the pitwall on Sunday as Melbourne uses a glass wall to separate its pitlane from the track.

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