Hockenheim Tighten Security after Track Incursions

Security has been tightened for Sunday's German Grand Prix to prevent spectators from slipping onto the Hockenheim circuit - as happened there in 2000 and at the British Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Hockenheim Tighten Security after Track Incursions

Security has been tightened for Sunday's German Grand Prix to prevent spectators from slipping onto the Hockenheim circuit - as happened there in 2000 and at the British Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Hockenheim officials declined to provide any details about the heightened security because they said they did not want to tip-off any would-be interlopers or unwittingly challenge them to test for security lapses.

"We have taken special security measures but we will not discuss any of the details before the race," said Andreas Hornung, managing director of the company that organises the German Grand Prix.

Hornung has had a busy week, cancelling a number of appointments and events in the run-up to Sunday's race to attend extra security briefings. There were 800 German police on duty outside the circuit and an undisclosed number of security officials working on the inside, keeping an eye on the 300,000 or so spectators expected over the three days of the event.

"There's no such thing as 100 percent security," said one Hockenheim security official who asked that his name not be used. "But we've raised security here to a very high level."

In 2000, a French former employee of Mercedes cut a hole in a fence at the circuit and wandered alongside the track as cars raced by at 250 km/h to protest his dismissal by the German carmaker.

His protest may have cost Mercedes victory in that race as McLaren pair Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard were leading when the safety car was deployed. Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello eventually took the chequered flag in first place.

Robert Selhi was later fined 200 marks ($100) for trespassing.

Last year at Hockenheim the Frenchman's contribution to Ferrari's victory was remembered by Michael Schumacher fans, some of whom displayed a banner reading, "Where's Robert Selhi?".

Barrichello also won at Silverstone two weeks ago when Irishman Cornelius Horan, 56, ran onto the track during the British Grand Prix wearing an orange kilt and green hat and carrying a placard saying: "Read the Bible."

Horan, described by his lawyer as a religious man who now regretted his actions, was remanded in custody and charged with aggravated trespass. His trial has been adjourned until August 11 pending psychiatric reports.

The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) has written to all circuits hosting the remaining five races of the season to ask them to be "particularly vigilant".

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