British man walks across track during Singapore GP

AFP sources says British man, Yogvitam Pravin Dhokia, 27, who walked across track endangered personal safety of drivers and was charged in court on Tuesday

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Singapore Grand Prix

A British man who walked across the track during the Singapore grand prix was charged in court Tuesday for committing a "rash act" that endangered the lives of drivers.

A charge sheet said Yogvitam Pravin Dhokia, 27, endangered the "personal safety of the drivers" when he crossed the track while the Singapore grand prix was in full swing on Sunday night on the street circuit in the central business district of the city-state.

It said he was accused of committing an offence under the penal code punishable with imprisonment of up to six months or a maximum fine of Sg$2,500 ($1,769), or both.

"We can confirm the arrest of a British national in Singapore and we stand ready to provide consular assistance," a spokesperson for the British High Commission told AFP in an email.

Dhokia s passport was impounded and bail was set at Sg$15,000 but the Briton said he could not afford the amount, local media reported.

"I m not working currently. I spent all my savings on tickets. I don t really have that kind of money," state broadcaster Channel NewsAsia quoted him as telling District Judge Ronald Gwee.

Closed circuit television footage released after the race showed Dhokia wriggling his way through a gap in the metal fence and onto the track.

Clad in a T-shirt and shorts, he crossed the track, first walking slowly and then accelerating as race cars sped by.

Police later said they had arrested a 27-year-old man but did not give his identity.

Race winner Sebastian Vettel had a major shock on lap 36 when he spotted the man walking on the track, a bizarre incident which brought the race to a temporary halt.

"There s a man on the track!" he yelled over the team radio, as the safety car came out for the second time during the floodlit night race.

Vettel called for tighter security after the incident. "I had to look again because I wasn t sure whether I had a problem with my eyesight or I saw somebody crossing the track," Vettel said.

"I went on the radio and said some guy s crossing the track. I saw him taking a picture -- I hope it was a good one at least, it was in focus!

"Yeah, (it was) pretty crazy. We approach that corner around 280-290 clicks (kilometres per hour or 174-180 miles per hour). I wouldn t cross the track if I was him so yeah, it was crazy."

Fans are positioned close to the track in some parts of the street circuit, most of which is enclosed by walls and tall metal fencing.