Spanish GP Incident Involving Neymar Jr. Sparks Potential Reform

June 20, 2023Ramon Jones
Formula 1

During the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, FIA stewards spotted soccer superstar Neymar Jr. and other guests on the grass of the front straight during the formation lap at the start of the race. FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said the issue is not specific to F1, and has acknowledged the need for change due to safety concerns.

Statements from the FIA President

Sulayem stated, “We must take learnings from the incident at the Spanish Grand Prix. The FIA has been assured by Stefano Domenicali (CEO of Formula 1), that measures are being taken to ensure that there is no repeat of the incident. It is an issue not just in Formula 1 but also in Formula E and World Endurance Championship and other categories from my recent experiences with too many people on the grid at some events. I have no doubt that in all cases, the promoter will adhere to the FIA requirements on safety and security. It is the duty of the FIA to ensure a safe environment for all. Safety in motor sport is the Federation’s main priority.”

The issues with Neymar in Spain come after an earlier season mishap in Australia. The race stewards observed multiple fans, photographers and personnel at the end of the hot pit lane during an active race. As reported by the World Motor Sport Council has stated, “protecting the health and well-being of everyone on the grid – guests, officials and teams – was the FIA’s priority.” There are rumors of an ongoing investigation by the WMSC as it awaits official reports from the event organizers in Australia and Spain. The goal appears to be corrective action rather than punitive punishment. There must be a balance between securing safety of the formula 1 drivers and staff and the invitation of celebrities for branding. We will report more as this story develops.