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10-place grid penalty for dangerous pit stops

The FIA have made further alterations to the pit-lane regulations in the wake of the injuries sustained by cameraman Paul Allen.

Allen was one of six Formula One Management camera crews who were operating in the pit-lane during the German Grand Prix earlier this month.

He was hit by a wheel which had come off of Mark Webber's Red Bull car, his wheel had previously missed mechanics in the Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes pits before hitting Allen breaking his collarbone and two ribs.

[Red Bull were fined 30,000 for an unsafe pit release.]

Thankfully he will make a full recovery, but the FIA were quick to make changes to the rules to prevent the incident from repeating.

Initially there was a total ban on Pitlane access for the media, but this has now been relaxed, with one pit-lane reporter and cameraman allowed in the pits during practice.

However during qualifying and the race it will remain that only team personnel and marshals will be given access.

The media [cameramen and photographers] will be moved to the pit wall.

There will also be a tweak to the regulations so that all team personnel working on a car during pit stops will require head protection.

The pitlane speed limit will also be reduced during races from 100kmh to 80kmh [Street circuits in Melbourne, Monaco and Singapore the speed limit will remain unchanged at 60 kmh].

The changes in regards to the pitcrews and speed limits had been scheduled to be implemented next season anyway, however FIA President Jean Todt opted to make the changes immediately.

The final change comes with a penalty system for the teams.

Formula One teams will be given an automatic 10-place grid penalty if they send their car out of the pits with a loose wheel. If the incident takes place during practice or qualifying then the penalty will apply that very same race weekend. If it happens during a race it will apply for the following race.

The F1 drivers appeared unanimous in their push for improved safety.

'I think there still needs to be a competition in the pit lane. Motorsport is dangerous. We know that. In GP2 they have not many guys on each corner [of the car]. Maybe there are ways to keep the competition but have less technology.

'I'm sure they'll find a way so there is still competition but maybe make it a bit safer.'
Red Bull's Mark Webber told the BBC after it was his car that was the trigger for the changes.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso added: 'When something happens in terms of safety, we must react.

'I don't think anyone would disagree with improving safety - teams, drivers, media, promoters. But it is difficult to find an agreement on the way to do it.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday July 26 2013

Time: 9:00AM


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