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FIA to Penalise Team Pitwall Celebrations

Written by Hugh Waring, Edited by Yu Xin Wang

F1 teams face potential penalties for any chequered flag celebrations on the pitwall fencing.

Image credits - Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The FIA has announced the restrictions ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, ending the memorable tradition of team members celebrating their drivers crossing the finish line by climbing the pitwall fences.

Race Director Niels Wittich’s event safety notes have stated that any teams that are in breach of this ban will be reported to the stewards, who will consider appropriate punishable actions. It would be highly unlikely that these actions would impact a driver's result. Nonetheless, in the new era of the cost cap, future monetary fines might potentially challenge those teams running close to the cost cap.

Due to the metal fencing used at the Australian Grand Prix, it would be unlikely to see any similar celebrations that were seen at the Saudi Arabian and Bahrain Grands Prix. It will, however, be interesting to see whether teams will abide by this new ban later on in the calendar.

Appendix H, Article 2.3.2 - Restriction of personnel:

“Organisers of races are reminded that the pitlane 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.

“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 pitwall 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 pitlane 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 pitwall debris fences at any time. Any action by a team breaching this ban will be reported to the Stewards.”


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