In the round-up: The Australian Grand Prix Corporation is considering banning spectators who entered the track before the chequered flag of this month’s race at Albert Park.
Track invaders who breached Albert Park before finish could face bans
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation, which organises the race at Albert Park, admitted multiple “serious” security failures to FIA stewards after fans were seen on the live race track before the chequered flag. The incident has been referred to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council after the stewards found organisers in breach of Article 12.2.1.h of the FIA’s International Sporting Code, which covers “any unsafe act or failure to take reasonable measures, thus resulting in an unsafe situation”.
The event’s general manager of operations, Tom Mottram, said they have identified fans who breached the track before they were authorised and that they will consider what actions they could take against them under local laws governing the race.
“We’ve identified five or six persons of interest who breached the track early, and we want to be talking to them,” Mottram told The Age. “It’s not something we will ever tolerate or accept and people need to realise this was a very dangerous undertaking that occurred.
“We’ll find out what was the understanding or motive, and whether it’s something they did with malicious intent or they subconsciously found themselves in that position. I wouldn’t want to jump to any conclusions until we’ve had an opportunity to chat to them.”
Prema fined but keep LMP2 pole
Prema mechanics removed the rear deck of the number 63 LMP2 car in the queue at the end of pit lane prior to the green light. When the session started, the car completed its outlap and immediately pitted for repairs before going on to take pole position by just one-thousandth of a second ahead of Vector Sport.
After an investigation by the stewards, Prema were fined €1,000 for the incident but kept their pole position. The stewards noted that “as the team’s garage was at the opposite end of pit lane, the stewards agree that they would have impeded other competitors if they had pushed the car the entire length of the pit lane.”
More sustainable Firestone tyres a “huge step” for IndyCar – Rossi
Firestone’s ‘green wall’ compound tyres that will be used for all street circuit races this season including this weekend’s Grand Prix of Long Beach is a “huge step” for the series, believes McLaren’s Alexander Rossi.
The composition of the compound, which will be the faster ‘alternate’ softer tyre available to drivers over the weekend, is different to the standard compounds and has so far only been used in Nashville last year as a trial and at the 2023 season opener in St. Petersburg.
Asked by RaceFans about his expectations for the tyre, Rossi said the compound offered identical grip to the traditional compound.
“I think Firestone has done an amazing job in the sense that we have a sustainable tyre that really produces the same level of performance as an non-sustainable tyre,” Rossi said. “I think that was proved in Nashville last year, and that’s why we’re using them on all the street courses this year. So I think it’s a huge step for IndyCar, huge step for Firestone, and something that we should all be very proud to be a part of.
“At the end of every weekend every driver and team, I believe, has a debrief with Firestone going through the pros and cons of the primary and the alternate, and what needs to be adjusted for the future. And I think Firestone takes all of that into account.”
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