McLaren hospitality suite evacuated due to fire at Spanish Grand Prix ahead of final practice

22 June 2024, 10:32 | Updated: 22 June 2024, 18:34

McLaren's hospitality suite at the Spanish Grand Prix was evacuated after a fire broke out ahead of final practice.

Fire services arrived on the scene shortly after 12.00 local time with smoke emerging from the building in the Formula 1 paddock at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Lando Norris was among those evacuated as the blaze broke out less than an hour before final practice.

McLaren say a team member was taken to hospital as a precaution but later discharged on Saturday.

A team statement said: "This morning a fire was detected in our trackside Team Hub.

"The team hub was evacuated of all staff and guests, and circuit emergency services attended the scene within minutes. The circuit emergency services and local fire department have since extinguished the fire.

"We would like to thank all the marshals and emergency services for their quick and professional response. We would also like to thank Formula 1, the FIA and our competitors who have offered to help our team and guests this weekend."

Sky Sports News understands that at least two fire staff personnel were treated for smoke inhalation but their condition is not thought to be serious.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown was seen outside the two-levelled suite as final practice started as scheduled.

Three hours on, emergency crews were still working to bring the fire under control. The Pirelli and Alpine buildings, which flank McLaren's hospitality suite, were also evacuated.

Brookes: We could smell the smoke from TV compound

Sky Sports F1's Rachel Brookes reporting from the paddock:

"I've just spoken to someone from the team who was in the kitchen and they say the smoke has come from between the floors which explains why it was difficult to put out. They think it was electrical.

"The smoke came down into the hospitality which was busy with media and guests.

"The driver rooms are inside the ground floor, so they need to get their helmets and race suits, unless they have spares for final practice.

"Everyone from McLaren got out OK but a couple of fire personnel have been taken away with oxygen masks.

"We could smell the smoke from the TV compound which is quite a way away."

'Fire teams were quickly on the scene'

Sky Sports' James Galloway in Barcelona:

"Fire trucks were quickly on the scene in the paddock with crews with hoses seen going into the McLaren hospitality unit, which was evacuated after the fire broke out.

"It's a particularly busy paddock for qualifying day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya amid beautiful weather conditions on Saturday and, while people's attention and interest soon naturally became trained on what was unfolding down at McLaren, officials cleared a clear central path through the middle of the paddock so that the emergency services could easily get their vehicles down to the McLaren unit and deal with the unfolding incident."

Pirelli boss Isola: We went in to help

Pirelli boss Mario Isola, who is also a volunteer ambulance driver and paramedic, spoke about their efforts to help:

"We started to smell something strange and then the guys were asking for additional extinguishers. So, we took the ones we have in our motor-home and went in to try to help.

"The smoke was also coming from the back where you have a lot of materials and a lot of furniture, and it's difficult to give the space to the firefighters to work properly.

"Now we need to support McLaren with meals and so on because this could happen to any of us and we need to work together to find the solution. The competition is on track."