Going to see the races can be a fun experience. Seeing the cars, being pelted with race tire marbles, and even smelling the race gas as the fumes waft across the to the stands are memories that make many children and adults alike giddy. But sadly, one Mercedes driver recently had a terrifying experience at a track, one that probably will taint any previous racing memories.
Live racetracks are a dangerous place
A live racetrack is a dangerous place. It is a scene of choreographed high paced precision between racecar drivers, teams, and safety crews. The high-speed vehicles on the track race inches from each other and barriers. Consequently, once a track goes live for an event, only specific personnel are permitted on the track. Yet, somehow, a Mercedes-Benz GLA driver somehow managed to get on the Interlagos track in Brazil during an ongoing event.
The track, Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, also known as Interlagos was hosting a track day. The circuit, located in Sao Paulo, has been host to the Brazilian Grand Prix since the 1970s. So, how a guest at an event can mistakenly get on a live track is bizarre. After all these years of service to the racers and fans, it would seem unthinkable that signage would not be clear around the facility indicating where to travel, and more importantly, where not to travel. Yet, the Mercedes GLA still ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Footage of the Mercedes GLA on the track
One of the racecar drivers at the event was the first to come upon the errant Mercedes. Fortunately, a GoPro camera had been mounted on the racecar and recorded what happened. The footage was later shared in a tweet by another person. That tweet is posted below.
After reviewing the footage, it seems that the driver of the Mercedes managed to somehow get onto the pit exit area. Discovering they made an error, they attempted to turn around. Midway through a three-point turn, the car was blocking the road. That is when our racecar driver happened upon the scene while trying to leave pit road. Then, another racecar driver also arrives at the same spot, slamming on their brakes. Seemingly confused and probably very embarrassed, the Mercedes driver eventually moves out of the way, and the drivers get by.
How did the Mercedes get there?
Interlagos hosts many events. So, to be fair, one Reddit commenter indicated that events often require changing the exits. So, the postulation is that maybe somewhere along the way, a change should have happened to an exit gate, but it was lagging at the track that day. If so, that would explain the strange situation. But, the reality is that no further information is available. In the meantime, many commenters went on to ridicule the Mercedes GLA driver’s ability to turn a 3 point turn into a 60 point turn. The more important question is, with pit lane blocked, why was racing not stopped? Toward the end of the fiasco, cars are still seen passing the merger point of pit lane. Trackday or not that is unsafe.
Oh well! Thankfully, the Mercedes driver lives to tell the tale. Somewhere down the road, they will be able to tell their children or grandchildren that the clip on the internet is actually of them. People will chuckle. Life will go on.