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Mexican GP reduces F1 paddock crowds to avoid security issues

Organisers of Formula 1's Mexican Grand Prix have worked to reduce the number of fans in the paddock to avoid a repeat of 2022's security issues.

Fans waiting for autographs

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The number of fans and VIPs in the paddock in last year's race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez led to security issues, with spectators crowding hospitality units and accosting drivers.

Alpine's Pierre Gasly noticed somebody had opened his backpack, while some of his peers had also flagged that the number of paddock dwellers had been out of control.

Gasly raised the issue again at the Italian GP, where random people had been knocking on his door inside the Alpine hospitality.

While F1 has worked to make the series more accessible, at certain races overcrowding has had the opposite effect of drivers being forced to actively avoid the paddock in order to be able to move around.

The Mexican GP organisers have now heeded the drivers' calls and have worked with F1 to reduce the number of people roaming the paddock for this weekend's race.

"We have been working hand in hand with Formula 1 to see how we can reduce the requests," said the race's marketing director Rodrigo Sanchez.

"There are a lot of requests from teams and sponsors that are coming in and we have to find a way to keep those lists as small as possible, so that we can have a much more comfortable environment in the paddock."

The organisers have also put together a marketing campaign to call on spectators to show more respect to drivers and impress on them that the paddock is a working area first and foremost. Plus, billboards around the city have urged fans to leave the rivalries to the drivers on the track.

Mexico City GP banner

Photo by: Filip Cleeren

Mexico City GP banner

"The paddock is a working area for the drivers and for the teams," Sanchez explained.

"Those few who have the privilege of being able to enter this restricted part of the racetrack, should know how to behave in a certain way and ask them to have an exemplary behaviour. Otherwise, the race cannot work."

The measures come after home hero Sergio Perez's team-mate Max Verstappen was booed at last weekend's United States GP.

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It is understood Red Bull has upped security to protect Verstappen and other key team members, a protocol that is also in place for the Dutchman's home race in Zandvoort.

"We are using security as we always do and have worked with the promoter and F1 to ensure safety of team and public alike," a statement from Red Bull read.

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