Ferrari’s Formula One race mechanics rushed into a closed off parc fermé area after the Singapore Grand Prix, prompting them to see the stewards after the race. Those stewards have now mandated that Ferrari apologize to the race officials and security staff, per Autosport.
There are certain places at a race track that are off-limits to most people, no matter what. One of those is parc fermé, where cars are in a secure location for officials to touch and inspect — and officials only. No one is even allowed in there without permission from the FIA stewards, which is why Ferrari is in such deep doo-doo for their post-race celebrations.
Many initially thought Ferrari was potentially getting punished for Sebastian Vettel trying to bring a flag onto the podium, but the race officials didn’t really care about that. Here’s a copy of the note sent to Ferrari:
Article 12.1.1.i of the FIA International Sporting Code lists “Failure to follow the instructions of the relevant officials for the safe and orderly conduct of the Event” as a reason for penalization.
According to F1 photographer Darren Heath, what Ferrari did was much worse than a flag:
There’s your unsafe and disorderly conduct right there. In the rush to see Vettel on the podium, a bunch of Ferrari team members went into an area where they weren’t supposed to be, and apparently weren’t very nice about it to the folks who were supposed to be there.
Per Autosport, a couple Ferrari team members initially broke into the photographers’ area near the podium. The larger group of mechanics that congregated in the same area afterwards managed to push down the barriers around parc fermé and get past the security staff around the cars. Security has to keep people out of parc fermé to ensure no one tampers with the cars held for inspection after the race. Clearly, this was a huge faux pas.
After a hearing with the stewards, Ferrari agreed to apologize to the Singapore Grand Prix security staff and officials. The FIA released this statement on the decision, as quoted on Autosport:
The stewards, having received a complaint from the secretary of the event and the members of the security contingent at post-race parc ferme, that some members of Scuderia Ferrari failed to obey instructions of relevant officials and behaved in an inappropriate manner, have heard from the team manager [Rivola], the secretary of the event and the head of the security contingent.
The team representative has offered to have the team principal [Maurizio Arrivabene] send a written unconditional apology to those who were affected and to give an assurance there will not be a recurrence.
Admittedly, I love watching this Ferrari team bounce back and win, but even I think they got off a bit easy here. If I messed with a track official as a member of the press, I’d get booted from the premises faster than you can say “oops.”
For example, the World Endurance Championship’s officials always warn the photographers that they’ve booted media for fighting with officials even when the official turned out to be wrong. You don’t mess with track and series officials at these kinds of events. They make the event happen and don’t have time for your BS.
Meanwhile, Ferrari is supposed to just sit in the corner for a little while and think about what they’ve done for their mini-invasion of parc fermé. That’s a little weak. Do we need to bring 24 Hours of LeMons-style justice to F1? I’m pretty sure it the team had to cover a set of giant red haulers in “I will not violate parc fermé” over and over again in lavender glitter paint, Ferrari would be discouraged from repeating this kind of thing for good.
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