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Webber's wheel hits cameraman

2013-07-07 17:24

LOOKOUT! 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

NURBURGRING, Germany - A cameraman was taken to hospital by helicopter after being struck by a wheel which came off Mark Webber's Red Bull during a pitstop at the 2013 German Grand Prix.

Formula 1 safety has been in the headlines since multiple tyre blow-outs at the British Grand Prix raised fears about drivers being hit by flying debris. The Geman race, won by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, will fuel concern about pitlane dangers.

While pit-crews routinely wear protective headgear, many others working in the pitlane during the race do not.

'CHEST PAIN AND CONCUSSION'


Webber came into the pits for a routine tyre change after nine laps but his crew took longer than usual because of a problem with the rear right tyre.

He was released without the wheel being secured. It broke free and bounced into the cameraman, knocking him flat on his back.

The sport's governing FIA said: "Paul Allen was hit on the left-hand side. Remaining conscious, he was treated at the circuit medical centre and then transported by helicopter to Koblenz Hospital."

"The Briton was kept there, under observation."

BBC radio reported he had some chest pain and suffered a concussion.

Webber was ordered to turn off his engine and the wheel was reattached, allowing the driver to rejoin the race near the back of the field. He finished seventh but his team were being investigated by stewards over a potential unsafe release.

Supplier Pirelli have brought different tyres, with an inner ring of synthetic fibre Kevlar rather than steel, to Germany after the controversial blow-outs at Silverstone. There were no failures in practice or qualifying or on track during the race.
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