Formula One: Singapore Grand Prix organisers to review safety measures at access points

View of a man (left) walking on the track during Lap 37 of the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday. (Below) Briton Yogvitam Pravin Dhokia who was charged in court for the offence.
View of a man (left) walking on the track during Lap 37 of the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday. (Below) Briton Yogvitam Pravin Dhokia who was charged in court for the offence.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW AND PHOTO: FORMULA 1'S TWITTER FEED
View of a man (left) walking on the track during Lap 37 of the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday. (Below) Briton Yogvitam Pravin Dhokia who was charged in court for the offence.
(Above) Briton Yogvitam Pravin Dhokia who was charged in court for the offence.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW AND PHOTO: FORMULA 1'S TWITTER FEED

Organisers of the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix have set up an internal multi-departmental task force to review the security plan at all track access points, including fortifying the infrastructure and manpower.

This move comes in the wake of a track invader's antics, which almost wreaked havoc at last Sunday's showpiece at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

In its first statement since the incident, Singapore GP confirmed last night that the spectator, Briton Yogvitam Pravin Dhokia, made an unauthorised entry via a designated safety Egress Point (EP) during Lap 37 of the 61-lap race.

"As per Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) regulation, EPs are intentionally left open and unlocked to provide access on to and off the track from the Marshal Zone in the event of an incident," it added.

"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."

Singapore GP said all its 174 trackside access points, including EPs, are protected for crowd control.

Approximately half the EPs are manned by race officials. The rest have security personnel patrolling the areas and control fences.

Singapore GP noted that this has been the practice since the inaugural edition in 2008, and that the incident on Sunday represented the first track security breach in the event's history.

No explanation was given as to how Dhokia bypassed security to get on to the track.

Closed-circuit television camera footage released hours after the race had captured a man sauntering across the track and scampering to the other side when race leader Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari emerged from the turn.

The man then climbed back over the barrier.

The incident caused widespread consternation among F1 drivers and officials.

Manor president Graeme Lowdon said it was fortunate that no one got hurt.

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia racer Yuey Tan said Dhokia could have been "smashed and killed" had he entered at a blind corner.

At April's Chinese Grand Prix, a man ran across the main straight, narrowly missing a car before trying to enter Ferrari's garage.

He reportedly asked to try out a car but was handed over to security and arrested.

Dhokia, meanwhile, was charged with committing a rash act on Tuesday. No one posted the bail of $15,000 for the unemployed 27-year-old and his passport has been impounded.

His case will be mentioned on Oct 6.

If convicted, he could be jailed for up to six months and/or fined up to $2,500.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2015, with the headline 'Organisers to check safety measures at access points'. Print Edition | Subscribe