Motorsport

'Crazed' fan invades track

2015-04-10 15:03
Chinese track (Getty Images)

Shanghai - A track invader sparked a security panic during Friday's free practice at the Chinese Grand Prix after climbing over the pit wall and demanding to test drive a Ferrari.

The fan scaled a fence and risked disaster by running across the tarmac in between the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson and Nico Hulkenberg's Force India before vaulting the pit wall and walking calmly towards the Ferrari garage.

Waving his ticket, he shouted "I've got a ticket, I want a car!" before being tackled by stewards and handed over to the police, a race official said, confirming that security would be beefed up after the incident in Shanghai.

According to the official, the man "appeared crazed rather than drunk", pointing out that climbing the main grandstand fence, negotiating cars travelling at 250km/h and jumping over the pit wall would require both strength and coordination.

The fan was bundled into a police car after being apprehended, still in an agitated state, he added.

The security breach evoked memories of the 2003 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, when defrocked Catholic priest Neil Horan marched onto the track during the race, forcing drivers to swerve out of the way and bringing out the safety car.

Before that a former Mercedes employee, miffed at being sacked, hopped over safety barriers to invade the track at the 2001 German Grand Prix in Hockenheim.

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets in both of Friday's practice sessions as the world champion looks to reassert his dominance after being stunned by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in Malaysia two weeks ago.

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