The organisers of Brazil’s Formula 1 race have been referred to the FIA World Motor Sport Council for potential penalties after spectators began a track invasion while cars were still on the circuit and risked "disastrous consequences".
Onboard footage from cars completing the race shows fans running towards the track across the run-off area at the Senna S.
Video from the Heineken-sponsored fanzone on the outside of that corner shows security personnel grappling with fans trying to climb the fence and watching helplessly as several made their way over the top.
The stewards summoned “the Sao Paulo F1 Organisation” (SPF1) after the race and determined that a large group of spectators broke the security lines and accessed the run-off area while the race was finishing.
They found the “security measures and/or security officers and/or equipment which were expected to be in place for the event were not enforced and/or were not sufficient resulting in an unsafe environment for the spectators and drivers”.
SPF1 was slammed for allowing an “unacceptable situation which could have had disastrous consequences”, and admitted failures in both security protocols and safety measures, having agreed with FIA officials that comparable circumstances had already occurred in Brazil.
A thorough investigation will be conducted by the organisers with steps taken to address the matter for next year’s race and the stewards have demanded a “formal remediation plan” be presented to the FIA no later than January 30 next year.
The FIA has been asked by the stewards to review and comment on whether the steps planned are adequate to address the concerns raised and directly inform SPF1 if any further measures must be taken.
But “as this relates to serious issues around safety and security” the stewards have opted to take it even further.
The incident has been formally referred to the FIA World Motor Sports Council, the governing body’s highest power, for a further investigation.
This is to determine whether more steps need to be taken or penalties applied beyond SPF1 drawing up a remediation plan with FIA approval.