FIA To Enforce Rule Against One Of Formula 1’s Best Photo Ops: Pitwall Celebrations

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Starting with this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, don’t expect to see one of Formula 1’s greatest photo ops — pitwall celebrations — anymore.


If you’ve ever seen a Formula 1 race you’ve seen this exact thing. Mechanics and team members climb the debris fence between the track and the pit lane to welcome their drivers across the line. It’s become something of a tradition; a cool reminder of how much of a team sport Formula 1 is.

Race director Niels Wittich said that these celebrations will no longer be allowed. It’s written in black and white in his notes going into the Australian Grand Prix.

According to, Wittich’s notes for the weekend said “it is forbidden to climb on pitwall debris fence at any time.”

This isn’t a new rule. It’s just a stricter interpretation of Appendix H, Article 2.3.2 of the FIA’s International Sporting Code. Wittich reportedly alluded to this rule in his notes.

Before you go dig through your copy of the sporting code, Appendix H, Article 2.3.2 is the rule about entering the pitlane unless it’s to work on a car.

Aston martin Pitwall celebration
Aston Martin crew members celebrate as Fernando Alonso crosses the finish line in Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

The Pitwall Rules Makes Sense But It Still Kind Of Sucks

I understand the rule and why the FIA is enforcing it. Safety is important.

Think of it like an old law that is on the books but never gets enforced. Yeah, it might be against the law somewhere to ride a horse without wearing a hat or something dumb like that. Still, nobody is going to say anything.

That was the case with these celebrations. They’ve technically been against the regulations for a long time but weren’t being enforced.

However, I’m bummed we won’t get to see the pit crews scaling the fences anymore. The guys and gals who worked on the cars had a hand in getting that win. It was cool to see them celebrate with their driver.

Not anymore.

Now, what will be interesting is to see how well teams adhere to these rules. If the race director or another official catches a team breaking this rule, the team will get a one-way ticket to a meeting with the stewards. From there it will be up to them to decide if any punishments are necessary.

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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