- German Grand Prix
Helmets likely to become mandatory in pit lane
Formula One looks set to revise pit lane safety after a loose wheel clobbered a cameraman during Sunday's German Grand Prix, hospitalising him with a broken collar bone and cracked ribs.
FOM cameraman Paul Allen was hit in the back by the 10-kilo wheel after it came loose from Mark Webber's Red Bull following a botched pit stop. The team was fined €30,000 but team principals have called for a review of safety procedures and clothing in the pit lane.
"It's a timely reminder that working in the pitlane, whether you're a mechanic or cameraman, is dangerous," Red Bull team principal told Sky Sports News. "These cars are going pretty fast and there's a lot of energy around them, so it's a reminder that we need to look at all these things. The mechanics need to wear protective gear and maybe it's something that camera men and women working close to the action need to do as well."
At the 24 Hours of Le Mans any person in the pit lane during the race has to wear a helmet and race suit, and Mercedes boss Ross Brawn agrees that similar safety measures should be considered in F1.
"Luckily our guys saw the wheel coming but the cameraman didn't," he said. "They were able to swerve out the way to avoid it but it was pretty nasty. On the basis of what we have seen today we should be thinking that all people in the pit lane are properly dressed and equipped. Everyone in the pit lane should have a helmet on. It is certainly worth reviewing the whole thing."