S'pore F1: Security task force set up after track intrusion incident

The intruder (in blue) was later arrested for intruding onto the track.
PHOTO: Stomp

The organisers of the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix have set up an internal task force to review their security plan for track access.

This followed an incident in Sunday's race, where Briton Yogvitam Pravin Dhokia wandered onto the street circuit close to Turn 13, near the Fullerton Hotel.

The 27-year-old even crossed the track moments before race winner Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari led the rest of the pack past the sector at speeds nearing 290kmh, prompting the startled four-time world champion to shout on the team radio, "There's a man on the track! Man on the track".

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who started and finished the race in second place, said the intrusion - which brought out the safety car for the second time in the night Grand Prix - affected his chances of overtaking Vettel to win.

ENDANGER

Dhokia was arrested when he exited the track, and was charged in court on Tuesday for the rash act, which "endangered personal safety of the drivers", according to the charge sheet.

In a statement issued yesterday, race organisers Singapore GP said Dhokia entered the track through a designated safety Egress Point (EP) at about 9.16pm on Sunday.

The statement read: "As per Federation Internationale de l'Automobile regulation, EPs are intentionally left open and unlocked to provide access onto and off the track from the Marshal Zone in the event of an incident.

"This allows a driver to quickly escape the track following a crash or mechanical failure, or for a marshal to access the track to retrieve debris or vehicles."

There were about 174 trackside access points at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, "all protected with a layer of secondary barrier for crowd control".

"Approximately half of the EPs located within Marshal Zones around the circuit are manned by race officials," the statement added.

"The remainder would have security personnel patrolling the areas and/or crowd control fences as an additional barrier, as has been the practice over the past seven years, as well as in other circuits.

"In addition to the marshals in this vicinity, roving security officers were also deployed at this section of the track."

Sunday's incident is the first spectator intrusion in eight editions of the Singapore Grand Prix, although there have been at least two other such incidents in other races, including the Chinese Grand Prix in April.


This article was first published on September 24, 2015.
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