Max Verstappen has opted to increase his security for this weekend's Mexico City Grand Prix, with Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez recognising that what unfolded in the F1 paddock last year was “over the limit”.
Over the course of the race weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez a year ago, the number of people allowed into the paddock rose considerably and was very noticeable.
It resulted in the drivers being jostled and pestered for autographs and selfies as they made their way from the team buildings to the garages.
For this weekend Verstappen is being shadowed by two security staff, not least to protect him in the paddock but also in the often chaotic journey from and to the team hotel where fans often clamour as they wait outside.
From the team's perspective, there is an additional concern for Verstappen given the reaction to his victory in the United States GP last weekend when he was roundly booed, and a strong Mexican presence chanted the name of ‘Checo' for their hero Perez.
“I have a bit more security here, but there are always a few countries around the world where it's very busy, also here in the paddock,” he said.
“For example, last year, it was really, really busy to get from your hospitality to the garage. It just helps to make it all a bit smoother on-track, off-track, travelling from your hotel and stuff like that.”
As to whether increasing security is an option he will take more often in the future, he said: “Just whenever we think it's helping the general flow of the weekend.”
The three-time F1 champion has confirmed to feeling “very safe” at present in Mexico, adding: “I had a whole marketing day (on Wednesday). It's honestly been a great reception here like I've always had, and it's good to be back.”
The focus of the fans' attention is, of course, on local hero Perez who has struggled for the majority of this season in going up against Verstappen.
Even Perez felt the events of last year went beyond the pale, though, even if stating that “we've got to obviously appreciate the Mexican fans are really enthusiastic.
“But at the same time, we have to make sure the drivers are comfortable going around the paddock, and I think there should be a nice balance.
“I want everyone to have a great time in my country, but I think that (the paddock issue) is something that went over the limit last year.
“Hopefully this year it can be improved, because overall – in my opinion – it is the best reception for all the drivers in the world.”
It is understood the promoters have tightened up on paddock access this year in the hope of preventing a repeat of the events of 12 months ago.
Seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton now attends every race with a security detail to escort him around the paddock, notably for when he also arrives and leaves a circuit.
Whilst Hamilton's approach may appear over the top, the Mercedes driver insists it is with good reason.
“Ultimately, I do have security to help me get through crowds,” said Hamilton. ‘Without it, I wouldn't be able to move as quickly and swiftly as I do.
“It also enables you to have a better interaction with people so you're not getting overcrowded.”
Team-mate George Russell is happy to engage with the fans, albeit on a sensible level, and he is allowed to go to and from the garage without being hassled.
“For me, the more the merrier is great but at the end of the day, we're all here to do a job,” said Russell.
“Last year (in Mexico), we were struggling just to get from our engineers' office to the garage without people jumping on us and sticking cameras right in our face. It was a bit of a strange environment.
“So yeah, I'm happy for the paddock to be packed as long as we've all got a sensible way through to get to where we've got to be.”