There were frightening scenes on the final lap of the Azerbaijan GP as personnel entered the pit lane when Esteban Ocon still needed to make a pit stop.
It was a race around the Baku City Circuit with few thrills, but one which sadly ended on a sour and very dangerous note for Formula 1.
Ocon was the final driver yet to make a pit stop, holding out for a very late Safety Car while running inside the top 10 which would have brought him back into the mix.
That did not arrive though, meaning Alpine called Ocon into the pits on the final lap to satisfy the rule that at least one stop must be made by each driver during a Grand Prix.
Photographers and paddock personnel though had already begun to assemble at the start of the pit lane for the podium celebrations, while Ocon was on his way in.
— JesBe (@jesbemm8) April 30, 2023
Ocon, seemingly unaware of the situation, managed to hit the brakes as those people ran away from the approaching Alpine driver, with Ocon continuing on his way to the Alpine grid box to complete his stop.
“This is a shambles!” Sky F1 commentator David Croft shouted as the scary incident unfolded.
“Absolute shambles, we could see it coming, Alpine could see it coming, what is going on!” Sky F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz replied.
“That is a total and utter shambles of organisation and somebody should have known,” Croft concluded.
It was a race dominated once more by Red Bull, though Sergio Perez had the beating of team-mate Max Verstappen, taking the victory and cutting Verstappen’s Drivers’ Championship lead to six points.