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Webber's flying wheel explained

2013-07-12 08:34

WEBBER'S WHEEL GOES FLYING: Cameraman Paul Allen (left) is hit by a tyre (centre) flung from Mark Webber's Red Bull during the German GP.YouTube

LONDON, England - Red Bull has changed its split-second pit-stop procedures since a rear wheel flew off Mark Webber's car and injured a cameraman at the 2013 German Grand Prix.

An investigationby the team found that Webber's car was released prematurely because a “go” signal was sent accidentally by the right-rear wheel man.

The report, sent to all teams and to F1's governing body, revealed that the “right rear nut cross-threaded as the wheel went on” during a pit stop that lasted less than three seconds.


The report stated: “When the mechanic with the wheel gun removed the nut to put another on the gun slipped in his hand and he accidentally pressed a trigger that sent a ‘go' signal to the man on the front jack. The car was then cleared to leave the pits even though the rear wheel was unattached.”

Red Bull said it would revise the design of the gun to ensure that, if it accidentally rotated in the mechanic's hands, the go signal could not be sent by accident.

The front jack man would also be told to hold the car, in the event of any problem, until receiving a clear signal that all wheels had been changed.

Cameraman Paul Allen, working for Formula One Management, suffered a broken collarbone and broken ribs when he was hit on his back by the bouncing 10kg wheel.


The incident has led to a clampdown on access to the pits lane during race weekends.

The International Automobile Federation said that media would be restricted to the pit wall and only authorised team personnel would be allowed in the pits lane during qualifying and the race.

The BBC reported that FOM told broadcasters the measures would also apply to all practice sessions.
Read more on:    red bull  |  motorsport  |  formula 1  |  racing

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