Pits-lane safety clamp for F1

2013-07-10 09:06

LONDON, England - The cameraman injured by a bouncing Red Bull wheel at the 2013 German F1 GP will now for even be remembered by an immediate clampdown on pits access.

The International Automobile Federation* has announced that only authorised team personnel and race marshals would be allowed in the lane during qualifying sessions and the race - a major blow for F1 journalists and the transmission of camera/video shots to fans around the globe.

The federation said: "Access for approved media will be confined to the pits wall." (Wheels24 wonders how the media will get to the pits wall without crossing the pits lane - or the track, pre-race? We're inquiring.)


British cameraman Paul Allen suffered a broken collarbone and fractured ribs in the incident when Red Bull’s Mark Webber pulled away from pits without his vehicle’s s rear-right wheel being properly attached.

The wheel, weighing roughly 10kg, flew off and bounced down the pits, missing Mercedes mechanics but crashing into Allen. He was flown to hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

The incident triggered a focus on Formula 1 safety following a spate of tyre explosions during the preceding 2013 British GP that saw debris thrown up in the path of drivers. Drivers arrived at the German GP threatening to boycott the race.


Federation president Jean Todt, a former Ferrari team principal, demanded immediate changes to the sport’s regulations to reduce the risk of a similar accidents. "The federation informed teams that the approval of the World Motor Sport Council would immediately be sought for two changes to the sporting regulations. Both have already been approved for 2014."

The first change requires all team personnel working on a car during a pit stop to wear head protection, already a common practice for mechanics. The second will reduce the pits-lane speed during races from 100km/h to 80km/h, with the exception of Melbourne, Monaco and Singapore where, due to track configuration, the limit is 60km/h.

The Red Bull team has been told to submit a written report about the Nurburgring incident. It will be shared with teams to help improve pits-lane safety.

*Read the new rule changes here!