Formula 1 makes rule change after incident involving Neymar and Chelsea stars

Formula 1's governing body is considering measures to restrict celebrity access to the grid.

The FIA, Formula 1’s governing body, is set to implement stricter regulations following reports of Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar allegedly breaking the rules at the Spanish Grand Prix. 

The Brazilian football superstar, along with several high-profile footballers including his teammate Kylian Mbappe and Chelsea stars Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell, attended the race on 4th June at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. 

However, Neymar’s presence near the grid during the formation lap has raised concerns over the FIA’s rules regarding grid access.

While it is not uncommon for celebrities to be seen on the grid before races, Neymar and other guests, such as Chelsea players Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell, were reportedly on the edge of the grass on the main straight as the formation lap was underway, violating the FIA’s regulations.

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In response, the FIA is now contemplating a clampdown that may include restrictions on grid access for celebrities.

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem acknowledged the need for action, stating: “We must take learnings from the incident at the Spanish Grand Prix. 

“The FIA has been assured by Stefano Domenicali [CEO of F1] that measures are being taken to ensure that there is no repeat of the incident.” 

He further highlighted that overcrowding on the grid has been a concern in various motorsport categories, not just Formula 1, and emphasised the FIA’s commitment to prioritizing safety.

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Ben Sulayem added, “It is the duty of the FIA to ensure a safe environment for all. Safety in motorsport is the Federation’s main priority.” 

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The FIA is actively working with promoters to enforce safety and security measures across all categories, including Formula 1, Formula E, and the World Endurance Championship.

The incident involving Neymar comes at a time when the FIA World Motor Sports Council is still awaiting the findings of a report regarding a dangerous incident at the Australian Grand Prix in April. 

During that event, spectators managed to breach security and access the track, with some reaching Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg’s parked car at turn two.