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SBD Global/July 9, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

F1 Cameramen To Be Placed On Pit Wall After Loose Wheel Hits One At German Grand Prix

Medics assist a cameraman who was struck by a tire at the German Grand Prix.
F1 will "introduce measures to protect people working in the pit lane following the injury to a television cameraman at the German Grand Prix," according to Andrew Benson of the BBC. A loose wheel from the car of Red Bull's Mark Webber struck cameraman Paul Allen, breaking his collarbone. Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner "had called for improved safety following the incident at Nürburgring." F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said, "In future, all our camera crews will only be allowed to film from the pit wall. I've been in close contact with everybody who has been dealing with the matter. It's a terrible thing to say, but it was just one of those things" (BBC, 7/8). PLANET F1 reported Horner and Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn "believe F1 should consider introducing safety gear for everyone in the pit lane." Horner "feels more should be done to make sure everyone in the pit lane is safe." He said, "Mechanics have to wear safety gear and helmets. Maybe it's time we looked at some of the other people working in the pit lane having some as well. It's something that needs to be looked at. The camera guys are getting close to the action. They are getting some great pictures but it's still a dangerous environment." Brawn echoed Horner's comments, saying, "On the basis of what we have seen here, we should be thinking that all people in the pit lane are properly dressed, equipped and should have a helmet on" (PLANET F1, 7/8).

IN THE PITS: The London TELEGRAPH wrote McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh fears F1 "is becoming complacent." He said, "Those of us who were around 25 years ago without speed limits could smell the inherent danger. On this occasion the wheel came bouncing through the pit area and it was pretty scary. They are bloody heavy. At that speed you'd have known all about it" (TELEGRAPH, 7/8). The BBC's Gary Anderson opined the lesson of the German Grand Prix "is that Formula 1 pit stops need to be slowed down." They "have got so fast -- the top teams are routinely changing four wheels in 2.5 seconds -- that it has gone too far." I would suggest "reducing the number of people allowed to work on the pit stop" to 10. At the moment, there are about 20 (BBC, 7/8).
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