Drivers concerned about Mexico GP security

Mon, 31 October 2022, 06:00

Oct.31 (GMM) Organisers of the Mexican GP have vowed to improve the security situation for Formula 1 drivers when they return to the venue in future.

Although the crowd at the fabled Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City is famously passionate, Lewis Hamilton was booed throughout proceedings on Sunday.

“This has been an amazing crowd, a bit awkward this time round – boos all day – but nevertheless I have so much love for Mexico and the people here,” the seven time world champion said on Sunday.

However, it is believed Sunday’s booing was a reaction to a post the Mercedes driver made on social media in reaction to earlier comments by Fernando Alonso – a favourite of the Spanish-speaking crowd.

After Alonso implied that many of Hamilton’s titles were achieved in a clearly dominant car, the Briton hit back with a ‘thumbs up’ emoji caption to a photo of their notorious 2007 battle at McLaren.

“I don’t really have a lot to say about it,” Hamilton explained.

“I have tried to be really respectful over the years. When you’ve ever asked me about who has been the better driver, I’ve always tried to give praise.

“It’s definitely interesting to see the comments that are made, but it doesn’t really matter. So that’s why I just kind of put the thumbs up.”

However, the bigger issue for many of Hamilton’s rivals was the behaviour of ‘VIP’ pass holders in the paddock. Pierre Gasly says his backpack, containing his passport, was unzipped by one fan.

“It is obvious that some measures must be taken to increase our personal security,” said the Frenchman.

Daniel Ricciardo thinks says rules need to be created “so that ticket holders know how to behave in the paddock” because “adults should act like adults”.

Spanish speaker Carlos Sainz added: “There is no need to push or shout too loudly, but as for the rest it suits me.”

McLaren boss Andreas Seidl said: “I think that in general Formula 1 is moving in the right direction. We really appreciate the atmosphere in the paddock during the whole season, but here in Mexico the situation has become extreme.

“We need to discuss this issue and find a solution, especially in countries like Mexico where the fans are very emotional. But right now it’s very important not to overreact.”

Sources at the FIA said they would work with the event’s promoter, Grupo CIE, to improve the situation for subsequent years.

Grupo CIE told us in a statement: “We have an incredible group of fans here who are very passionate about Formula 1.

“However, the safety of everyone at the race, in the paddock and around the circuit is our priority and we continue to work with the FIA and teams to ensure this is the case.”

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