Charles Leclerc announces change following new Formula 1 ban

A track walk is when the drivers are often seen walking around the circuit ahead of a Grand Prix, to gain an understanding of the track's condition.

Ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, it was announced by Formula One Management (FOM) that drivers would be banned from using “bicycles, e-bikes, scooters and e-scooters” when completing a track walk, something which hasn’t gone down well with some of the grid.

The famous track walk has been an integral part of Formula 1 for as long as can be remembered, with it being a time for drivers and their engineers to travel around the circuit at a slow pace, to gain an understanding of the track’s conditions.

Over recent years, drivers have been seen riding around the circuit on a bicycle during the allotted track walk time, due to the considerable time it can take to walk around some of the venues, like Spa-Francorchamps, for example.

From this weekend onwards, though, drivers will only be allowed to walk during their track walk, after FOM introduced a ban on “any means of transport”.

READ: George Russell claims Mercedes ‘overshot’ after porpoising woes

A reason for the ban was due to the circuit having become too busy, especially when Formula 2 and Formula 3 are also on the bill.

A letter was sent out by the FOM during the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, where the event organiser detailed the new rules for what is allowed between sessions.

The letter from the FOM read: “To clarify and to avoid future misunderstanding, the use of any means of transport (bicycles, e-bikes, scooters, e-scooters, etc) is forbidden during the time window stated as ‘Team Track Walks’ on the Event Timetable. No exceptions will be allowed. This decision has been agreed with the FIA.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is one of the drivers who are unhappy about the rule change, with him having revealed that he skipped the official track walk this weekend at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Article continues below

The Monegasque admitted that with the new rule in place, he’s unlikely to ever complete a track walk again.

“I didn’t walk around,” Leclerc admitted to

“And as I think they’ve just issued a new thing where we cannot go around the track with a bicycle you probably won’t see me around the track anymore, and I’ll just watch the videos!”

READ: Fernando Alonso refusing to get carried away ahead of Saudi Arabian GP

Completing a track walk has certainly been a challenge for the drivers this weekend, with the circuit having been closed by F1 Thursday evening, a time when drivers would often complete their track walk.

The circuit was closed so that rapper Will.I.Am could film a new music video, something which affected Nico Hulkenberg’s plans.

“I wanted to do it now, but they blocked the track, and it’s all gone wrong now! I’ll watch the safety car, and I’ll see it tomorrow,” Hulkenberg said.