F1 investigation launched into shocking scenes as Esteban Ocon narrowly avoids hitting photographers in Baku
Formula One bosses were facing big questions on Sunday night after Esteban Ocon was forced into evasive action to avoid running over a troop of media photographers in the pit lane at the end of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The Alpine driver had waited until the final lap of the race to take his mandatory pit stop, to avoid being disqualified having deployed a strategy that depended on a late safety car or red flag that never came.
However, he came into the pit lane moments before Sergio Perez took the chequered flag in Baku, meaning several engineers had crossed the pit lane to celebrate along with photographers who had been allowed to begin preparations for the podium.
The incident nearly ended disastrously as Ocon had to slam on his brakes while the media personnel jumped out of the road.
"This is a SHAMBLES, absolute shambles!!" 😮 pic.twitter.com/cKk0NuPJUv
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) April 30, 2023
Viewers and pundits were left shocked at how the near-miss was allowed to happen.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky F1: “That needs a review, Esteban is within his rights to pit on the last lap and finish the race in the pit lane if he wanted to.
“That’s something the FIA perhaps need to police a bit better before the end of the race.”
Ocon added his own verdict with a social media statement post-race.
“Scary moment at the end there in the pit-lane,” he wrote. “Glad no one was hurt but we must ensure things like that don’t happen again.”
Sky reporter Ted Kravitz, in the pit lane at the time, dubbed the scenes an “absolute shambles”.
Race stewards have summoned FIA representatives to investigate the incident.