Debate: Should Silverstone allow track invasions?

Track invasion, Silverstone, 1992Silverstone circuit has hinted that fans might be allowed to come onto the track after the British Grand Prix has finished.

The Daily Mail yesterday quoted track operations manager Gary Dearn saying they were, “considering allowing some spectators on to the pit straight at the end.”

Track invasions at Silverstone common in the years of Mansell-mania from 1987-92. Many expect a Lewis Hamilton victory on Sunday could trigger the same. The mass invasions in 1992 brought widespread condemnation as some fans ran onto the track before the race had even finished.

In 2003 one individual ran onto the track early in the race, which caused a safety car period as a marshal ran after him to drag him away from lethal danger.

But at the Italian Grand Prix measures have been put in place to allows fans onto the circuit in a managed way – and a large podium built spanning the pit lane to allow them up close.

Are Silverstone going the right way or risking unnecessary danger?

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5 comments on Debate: Should Silverstone allow track invasions?

  1. I think Silverstone should allow track invasions if the home driver has won that race.

  2. If track invasions can be managed in a safe way with Silverstone’s set-up, then I am in favour of a track invasion after the last car has started its in-lap. Even though the view of the podium is probably better from the seats anyway, being part of the atmosphere is priceless for some.

    However, since Silverstone wasn’t originally intended to have track invasions, thorough preparation would be required to accommodate the invasion without any spectators getting flattened (by the cars or each other).

  3. Robert McKay said on 5th July 2007, 22:43

    Are track invasions at other places allowed/organised or are they basically just the result of exuberant fans doing what they ought not to be?

  4. Phil said on 6th July 2007, 13:54

    No, there should NOT be a track invasion, however well managed. The problems arise where people have slightly too much “orange juice” to drink and act in an irresponsible manner. A race track is a dangerous place even during the in-lap. Having watched the race at speeds up to 200mph and 70 mph through the tight bends, the cars may slow to 80 mph or so in the in-lap, but to the spectator they will look like they are doing 20mph in 1st gear and this presents a real danger. YOu know very well how easy it is to get used to speed – you come off the motorway having done 70mph(!!) for a couple of hours and onto a single carriageway with a 40 limit and it feels like you are able to get out of the car and walk alongside it at 40. Just keep the public off the race-track at all times and let everyone see the finishers go into the parc-fermee. We stopped pitch invasions at football and rugger matches for a good reason – damage to property and also to individuals caused by over-exuberance. Maintain the status quo – keep the track clear.

  5. Paul Collins said on 8th July 2007, 10:53

    I was there during the Mansell years 1991 – 1993.
    Yes it was dangerous for fans to be on the track when the cars were still running especially in 1992 when one man run over the track after Mansell went over the finish line.
    I think that fans SHOULD be let onto the track in a well managed way after the cars have stopped. Only people that have paid a lot of money to sit in the grandstands near the rostrum can see the prize giving & the general fans can not see only on the diamond screens.
    That is why most of the fans leave directly after the race has finished. There is another race after the F1 has finished.
    In Italy (Monza) stopped fans going onto the track after the race there would be a riot.

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