F1 teams warned of FIA penalties if they celebrate on pitwall fence
F1 teams may no longer celebrate with their drivers by hanging over the pitlane fencing and cheering them on as they take the chequered flag, the FIA informing the teams they’ll be enforcing that rule from Australia onwards.
It’s become tradition over the years for the crews to celebrate their driver’s success, cheering him as he crosses the finish line to win a race. The second and third-placed crews are, at times , also out in force.
That is banned as of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, although it’s not a new rule, it’s just another one that F1 race director Niels Wittich intends enforcing to the letter of the law.
The rule relates to Appendix H, Article 2.3.2 of the FIA’s International Sporting Code which states that “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.”
As such Wittich, in his pre-race notes sent to the team, reminded them that they are “forbidden to climb on pitwall debris fence at any time.”
But according to Motorsport.com the teams will be allowed to lean out of the large gaps in the pitwall protection systems that are there for teams to display pitboards if required, but they must remain safe.
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Wittich did not lay out what the penalty would be for any team member breaching the regulation, although it is thought it would be a monetary fine rather than a sporting penalty for the driver.
It has been suggested Wittich’s note comes after concerns that some team personnel were in dangerous positions at the very top of the fence after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Appendix H, Article 2.3.2 Restriction of personnel
The full wording for Article 2.3.2 reads: “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.”