Lewis Hamilton radio exchange with engineer Peter Bono prompts emergency FIA meeting after fans flock Albert Park track

Race stewards at the Australian Grand Prix have reported the organisers of the event to the World Motor Sport Council after fans allegedly found a way onto the track during the race on Sunday.

‘Serious’ safety and security breaches were reported multiple times over the course of the race weekend in Melbourne and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) will be under immense heat after being summoned to an emergency meeting with race officials.

Lewis Hamilton. Credit: gpfans.net
Lewis Hamilton. Credit: gpfans.net

The AGPC came out with a statement accepting that it was an “unacceptable situation that could have had disastrous consequences”.

Max Verstappen may have been the first to cross the chequered flag on Sunday, but attention was diverted to a number of spectators who reportedly managed to find a way through security and onto the race track while the race was still going on.

“All of this presented significant danger to the spectators; race officials and the drivers,” stewards said through a FIA statement.

While none of the was broadcast on live TV, a number of videos were soon uploaded by various users on social media which showed fans climbing over track-side barriers.

The incident is believed to have occurred during the final lap once the safety car had been deployed.

This was still not safe by any stretch of the imagination and stewards were summoned immediately after the completion of the race.

This isn’t the first time a track invasion has taken place at The Australian Grand Prix, with the venue also proving to play host to similar incident towards the end of the 2017 event. 

While fans taking to the track was mentioned by Sky Sports reporters at the time, even drivers were far from enthused with what was going on.

Mercedes racer Lewis Hamilton could be heard on his team radio asking his team exactly what was going on.

“There’s people on the track, man, some fans have got on,” Hamilton told Silver Arrows’ race engineer Peter Bonnington.

Overall, it was a very fruitful day for Hamilton, who saw himself return to the podium and although Verstappen’s Red Bull still looks like the team to beat, the seven-time world champion was happy to see the improvement in his W14.

Lewis Hamilton. Credit: sportstar.com
Lewis Hamilton. Credit: sportstar.com

“The car has been difficult and for us to be finishing on the podium is really remarkable, especially at this point when we haven’t actually changed the car. I feel so, so happy right now,” the Stevenage-born driver said.

“Clearly we have a lot of work to do to catch Red Bull because they came flying past and disappeared [but] I think this hopefully gives us a real hope and boost of energy.

“I hope this is a message to everyone to dig deep and keep pushing, it is not that far away and it is relatively close to your reach. We can definitely fight the Ferraris and [Aston Martin].

Lewis Hamilton and max Verstappen. Credit: crash.net
Lewis Hamilton and max Verstappen. Credit: crash.net

“Max is in another league, his car is so fast. He passed me half way down the straight and he was 10 metres ahead. I don’t know how they are so quick on the straight, it is insane.

“They are just in another league. Until we pick up speed on the straight like they have and have the crazy downforce they had in the corners, that is how it is going to continue.”

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