As the last European round of the 2023 season, the Italian Grand Prix paddock was heaving with VIPs and paddock guests throughout the weekend.
The number of paddock guests, part of the 304,000 fans attending the Monza weekend, is an indication of how popular F1 has become.
But on the other hand, it has also made it much harder for drivers and teams to move around their workplace, with Autosport noticing mechanics were frequently struggling to move equipment around due to the number of people getting in the way.
The intrusions also shifted to the teams’ hospitality units, with Alpine’s Gasly alarmed at random people knocking on the door of his room inside the hospitality.
And while the Frenchman says he enjoys the attention the drivers get from the fans, he called for more respect and for fans to give space to the teams to do their jobs.
“I love fans, and I always love to stop by and give some time. But then it’s obviously our work environment,” Gasly replied when asked by Autosport about how busy the paddock looked.
“Sometimes it’s a bit tricky to get around and make sure that we are on time for the commitments that we got because it’s minute by minute, and it’s clearly one of the busiest pitlanes.
Pierre Gasly, Alpine F1 Team
Photo by: Erik Junius
“It’s very enjoyable, but sometimes it’s even people knocking at the door inside the hospitality, you wonder how they got there.
“So [people need to] give the space we need to work properly.”
It is not the first time the topic of fan access has been broached, with overcrowding also leading to issues at last year’s Mexican Grand Prix.
In Mexico, Gasly noticed his backpack was opened during his walk through the paddock.
At the time McLaren’s Lando Norris was one of several drivers calling for more respect.
“I would say there’s not as many other sports where fans can get maybe quite as close now to the athletes,” he said in Mexico, which hosts F1 again next month.
“But in a lot of the other sports, they just seem more respectful. They need to show that [respect] more often. As simple as that.”