The initial race start procedure for the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint was aborted, triggering a second formation lap.

Lining up for the race start for the Sprint on Saturday at the Red Bull Ring, Race Control made the decision to abort the start procedure and send the cars out for a second formation lap.

Photographer positioning triggered an aborted start

A message from Race Control confirmed the start had been aborted due to the position of some photographers at Turn 1. While being behind the barriers, it was felt their position was dangerous – resulting in the decision to abort.

The FIA has confirmed further details on the incident to PlanetF1.com, with it being made clear the photographers had not breached an area in which they weren’t supposed to be in.

Race Control had spotted the positioning of the photographers at Turn 1 while the cars were lining up on the grid, and it was felt that the positioning could be dangerous due to the possibility of debris intrusion in the event of a multi-car pile-up – as witnessed at the Monaco Grand Prix.

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On that occasion, a collision between Sergio Perez and the two Haas cars resulted in debris going behind a catch fence, striking photographers and resulting in one requiring medical attention for minor cuts and bruises.

Fearing the possibility of similar circumstances arising, the race start in Austria was duly aborted to usher the photographers to a safer position, resulting in the second formation lap.

For Sunday’s race, the decision has been made to prevent the photographers from accessing this particular point behind the barriers for the first two laps of the race – but allowing them access as the race settles down.

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