Motor racing-Australian GP admits security failures after fans invade track

Formula One F1 - Australian Grand Prix - Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia - April 2, 2023 Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium after winning the Australian Grand Prix along with second placed Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso REUTERS/Darrian Traynor

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Stewards have ordered Australian Grand Prix organisers to urgently produce a "remediation plan" after a large group of spectators invaded the track during the Formula One race at Albert Park on Sunday.

Spectators managed to break through security and access the track toward the end of the race, with some reaching the car driven by Haas's Nico Hulkenberg as it was parked at the exit of turn two.

"All of this presented significant danger to the

spectators; race officials and the drivers," stewards said in a statement issued by the governing FIA.

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) fronted stewards and admitted to the safety and security failures, agreeing it was an "unacceptable situation that could have had disastrous consequences".

Video posted on social media showed fans climbing track-side barriers.

Organisers were told to provide a formal remediation plan to address the failures, including a review of the marshals protecting Hulkenberg's car.

Stewards also requested that the FIA referred the incident to the governing body's World Motor Sports Council to determine whether penalties should be applied.

The AGPC asked to have until June 30 to submit its review.

Organisers said a crowd of 131,124 attended Albert Park for Sunday's race and a record total of 444,631 spectators across the race week.

Red Bull's reigning world champion Max Verstappen won the race which was plunged into late chaos by a slew of crashes and red flags.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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