Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023

FIA reminds F1 teams pit wall fence celebrations remain prohibited

2023 Australian Grand Prix

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FIA Formula 1 race director Niels Wittich has reminded teams that allowing personnel to climb the pit wall fence is prohibited under the International Sporting Code.

Team members celebrating drivers finishing races by climbing the catch fencing along the pit lane has been a regular sight over the years, but technically remains forbidden under Appendix H, Article 2.3.2 of the FIA ISC.

The practice was originally banned by the FIA for the 2006 season. Team members remain forbidden from climbing the fencing along the pit lane to celebrate, with Article 2.3.2 stating 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.”

Red Bull personnel were seen climbing the fence in celebration as Sergio Perez took the chequered flag in Jeddah. Ferrari and Mercedes mechanics also climbed the pit wall fencing during celebrations when their teams won in 2022. None of these incidents have resulted in any investigation by the stewards.

In his race director’s event notes for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, Wittich included a reference to Article 2.3.2, reminding them that climbing the pit wall remains prohibited.

It is the latest in a series of efforts by the sport’s governing body to reinforce the application of existing rules. Last year, the FIA clamped down on drivers racing while wearing underwear that did not adhere to fireproof regulations and enforcing its ban on wearing jewellery and piercings while driving.

After taking over as F1 race director, Wittich also reiterated other aspects of the sporting regulations. These included using the painted lines at the edge of tracks to consistently define track limits under the provisions of article 33.3, and preventing drivers ‘crowding’ rivals at race restarts by pulling alongside them under Safety Car as described in article 55.14.

Appendix H – Article 2.3.2

Restriction of personnel

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.

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.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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19 comments on “FIA reminds F1 teams pit wall fence celebrations remain prohibited”

  1. and enforcing its ban on wearing jewellery and piercings while driving.

    But they didn’t, did they. They handed out an exemption instead.

    This will be no different. Nobody will say anything when it happens again next time.

  2. Fun_police has entered the chat.

  3. Alan Thomson
    30th March 2023, 10:53

    Do it anyway and dare the soulless FIA to do son about it.

    1. Yeah, that was my thinking. The fallout if a team was penalised would go on forever though. I really can’t be done with these rules and the enforcement of them that ends up taking up more headlines than the racing. Especially the last couple of years.

    2. You mean, like the teams have successfully done for 15 years due to the arguments for the rule in this context falling flat back in 2007?

      My guess is the practise will resume as soon as it is politically expedient.

  4. Since a rule against fence climbing has existed since 2006, the FIA should’ve started enforcing this rule from day one rather than only now.
    People should generally do something about things sooner rather than later, as doing something later minimizes the argument’s validity.
    Besides, no one has ever ended up in danger over this long-time tradition of celebrating mechanics & or other team members climbing on pit wall fences, so again, FIA unnecessarily clamps down something trivial & or generally safe.

  5. I wonder what the load limit for the fencing is?
    Are they in danger of peeling the mesh section from the frame and dropping onto the track?

    I would imagine most of the load is expected to be outward from the track rather than into the track area, so there probably is no tested level.

    1. If a team of mechanics could put the fencing in danger of exceeding the load limit, it wouldn’t take the weight of a car in full flight either (they’re supposed to be able to take a car being flung into them from pit lane side) and therefore not be up to the job.

  6. I wonder if they’ll start re-enforcing the rule of not allowing drivers to hug their mechanics in parc ferme before they’re weighed. May as well update the rules to have the entire team locked in the garage until the podium procedure starts.

    1. They tried a limited version of that last year and it didn’t stick

  7. That scary picture of the Red Bull pit crew dangerously climbing enough was already enough to make me shudder before I realized someone of them were probably wearing jewellery. Impossible to take the FIA seriously when they allow things like this.

  8. un-enforced rules like these SEEM to be there to cover the FIA insurance wise, in case something tragic happens. seems they are not enforcing it as it adds to the entertainment and show.

  9. F1 has been broken for many years. One team dominating (a couple of close occasions), weird rules, weird rules that FIA doens’t even know exists, locked out grid, driver bans what they can or can’t say or do, no testing for young rookies, too many races which has caused burnouts for team personell..

  10. As a kid I dreamed I could race in F1 but I don’t know if I would feel the same if I would be a kid now.

    1. Comment of the day, or maybe of the decade.

  11. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    31st March 2023, 8:24

    I remember the williams team hanging over the track in Baku when Stroll got his podium and I was very concerned at the time. But my COTD seems to get an awful lot of criticism. This apparent rule clearly has not been followed, as if it was, none of the teams would lean over the track like they do.

    I still see it as very dangerous and agree that the rule needs to be followed.

  12. Coventry Climax
    31st March 2023, 9:28

    Would love to see any of the teams come up with a fake fence section, set that up during the last lap, just in time to have the entire team climb it when their car finishes. I wouldn’t mind it a bit if it was complete with a prefab ‘FY FIA’ banner.
    Can we have some emotion, fun and humour back, please?

  13. I guess the possible danger is that a car which is a lap down with a puncture and just ahead of the leaders on track comes straight into the pit lane rather than do an extra circuit. As pit crews would not be expecting this, rushing across the pit lane to the fencing could be a nightmare hazard.

    1. Coventry Climax
      31st March 2023, 23:39

      Have you ever been in the pits during a (most any) racing event? You would know that ‘not expecting this’ is a near impossibility.
      Also, it’s climbing the fence that’s forbidden, not crossing the pit lane.
      Actually, you’would be quite safe high up in that fence, when a car comes ‘speeding’ (at the reduced speeds that are mandatory, speeding is hardly the correct word) down the pit lane.

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