The 27-year-old, who was identified as a British national, was attending the Singapore Grand Prix this past weekend with Grandstand tickets, when he began to walk along the side of the circuit whilst the race was underway.
The man, Yogvitam Pravin Dhokia, found an unlocked gate at the Marina Bay Circuit, wandering on to turn 13 during the 37th lap of the race. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who was leading the race, shouted over team radio “there’s a fan on the track, fan on the track!” Dhokia climbed back into the stands a minute later after finding an opening.
This prompted the deployment of a second safety car during the race, putting a damper on proceedings. All top 3 drivers – Vettel, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, and Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari all pitted during the lull, and kept their leads over competitors.
Vettel would go on to win the race, but in post-race interviews, he reiterated how “crazy” he thought the incident had been.
Bail for Dhokia was set at S$15,000. The Briton was said to be “cooperating with investigations,” but on finding out about the amount, he told the judge presiding over the case "S$15,000 bail is too high for me. I'm not working currently. I spent all my savings on tickets. I don't really have that kind of money."
The incident may have garnered worldwide publicity, but it also brings to mind several security concerns at the venue.
For now, Dhokia is yet to post bail and his passport has been impounded by Singaporean authorities. He is currently in judicial remand as the event’s organisers, Singapore Grand Prix, submit a full, detailed report to motorsport governing body FIA. The case stands adjourned for two weeks – until the 6th of October, when Dhokia may face new charges altogether.