Fire engulfs McLaren Hospitality Unit at Spanish GP

Fire scare occurred just before the last free practice session in Barcelona


A major scare occurred at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya just before the start of FP3, when a fire broke out in the McLaren hospitality unit at the 2024 Spanish GP. The fire was triggered by an electrical panel short circuit in the structure.

The fire broke out around 12:00 local time above the kitchen in McLaren’s hospitality unit. Drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, along with staff and guests, were quickly evacuated as smoke emerged from the building

No injuries were reported, thanks to the prompt intervention of firefighters who quickly secured the area. The dense smoke resulted in some minor intoxications, with a few individuals taken away by ambulances as a precaution.

The incident caused moments of fear in the paddock, but the flames, which started in the kitchen’s electrical system, were promptly controlled.

Mario Isola, Head of Pirelli Motorsport, also assisted in extinguishing the fire using extinguishers. Two marshals were taken away by ambulance due to smoke inhalation.

A fire broke out at the McLaren hospitality unit ahead of FP3 | X - @PhilDuncanF1
A fire broke out at the McLaren hospitality unit ahead of FP3 | X – @PhilDuncanF1

McLaren’s Statement on Fire in Barcelona

McLaren provided an official statement to reassure everyone: “This morning we evacuated our Team Hub paddock hospitality unit following a fire alert, the team has been safely evacuated while the local fire brigade handle the issue,” stated the British team.

A distinct smell of burnt electrical cables and insulation lingered in the paddock, but the situation returned to normal after some initial concerns about completely extinguishing the fire.

Despite the fire incident, McLaren and the event organisers ensured that safety protocols were effectively followed, allowing the Spanish Grand Prix weekend to proceed smoothly.

FP3 began at 12:30 local as scheduled with Norris placing his McLaren second in an incident filled session on track. Piastri was only able to end the final practice session ahead of Qualifying in 10th place.

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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