Man retracts claim he bribed F1 security

Facebook user Viv Smith has retracted his claim that he bribed a security guard to let him enter the Singapore Grand Prix track.
Facebook user Viv Smith has retracted his claim that he bribed a security guard to let him enter the Singapore Grand Prix track.PHOTO: VIV SMITH FACEBOOK

The Formula One fan who caused an uproar after he claimed to have bribed a security officer to allow him on the Singapore Grand Prix track has come clean - admitting that the story was made up.

Yesterday, a Facebook user going by the name Viv Smith posted in a closed Formula One interest group that it was "time to come clean".

"There was no bribery, no corruption, no nothing. The barriers were down, the gates open. I asked the guard if he would take a photo of us and he kindly agreed," he wrote.

"There were others on the track also, one guy even skateboarding around it, others just jogging."

The racing fan, whose age and nationality are unknown, earlier posted a photo on Facebook showing him and a companion posing on the tracks at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The caption read: "3am in the morning. Bribed the security guard to let us onto the track. He not only agreed, he took the photo."

His post was shared and reported by online media, which led the race organisers to launch an investigation, with the Singapore GP saying that it viewed the allegation of bribery as a serious matter.

THE TRUTH

There was no bribery, no corruption, no nothing. The barriers were down, the gates open.

FACEBOOK USER VIV SMITH, admitting his original post was in fact untrue and that others had been on the F1 track as well.

When The Straits Times contacted him via Facebook yesterday, Viv Smith declined to be interviewed and would say only that he is "lying low" in Malaysia.

"Everything you need to know is in my second post, there is nothing else to say," he said.

It is not known when the photo was taken.

Security & Risk Solutions (SRS), the appointed security agency assigned to the area where the alleged incident took place, told The Straits Times that its security officers "did not compromise any safety instructions nor received any monetary rewards as allegedly claimed". "We have interviewed all the security officers and we are satisfied that they were vigilant and had conscientiously followed the given instructions and performed their duty accordingly," a spokesman said.

SRS said it had submitted all its findings to Singapore GP, and will continue to work closely with them should there be any further investigations.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2017, with the headline 'Man retracts claim he bribed F1 security'. Print Edition | Subscribe