Race organiser says injured fan incident was “freak one-off” occurrence
Andrew Westacott, who is stepping down from his role as CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation later this year, described Sweet’s injury from debris as a “freak one-off” incident.
“We actually coincidentally had one of our engineering staff there who saw it, and anecdotally it would appear that debris carbon fibre from the wheel hub has shot 20 metres or so in the air, shot up, landed down and lacerated a gentleman’s arm,” said Westacott.
“Our people were aware of the incident. It looks as if out was a freak one-off, because you can’t necessarily have these debris fences going 20 metres in the air.
“The debris fences are consistent in height around the world. We’re compliant in our FIA regulations, but like everything in motorsport, you do debriefs at the end of the event and see what you can do to improve.
“I hope the guy is okay. It’s a reminder that safe is paramount when it comes to Formula 1.”
While a tragedy was avoided at Albert Park on this occasion, the location has had a fatal incident in the past.
In 2001, a crash between Jacques Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher resulted in the death of a trackside marshal who was struck by a wheel.