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Changes to be made following Barcelona pit fire

NEWS STORY
23/05/2012

Williams Mark Gillan reveals that while his team has already made procedural changes following the pit fire in Barcelona, he expects the authorities to introduce their own modifications in due course.

The Champagne on Pastor Maldonado's overall was still wet, the grins on the faces still wide following the team photo, when it all went sour, a raging fire at the back of the Williams garage threatening to overshadow the Grove outfit's finest day in almost a decade.

Despite the damage done, and the fact that one team member remains in hospital, Chief Operations Engineer Mark Gillan is happy, admitting that it could have been worse, a lot worse.

While the sport applauded the Dunkirk spirit which saw rival teams, most notably Force India and Caterham, roll up their sleeves and get stuck in, questions still remain, most notably the slow reaction by the circuit's own emergency services.

As the investigation in to what went wrong continues, Gillan reveals that his team has made changes however, in time the authorities will have to tighten up along the entire pitlane.

"There will definitely be a change to circuit procedures," he told reporters. "We have all agreed a certain level of cover at a circuit and that level of cover was in place.

"Collectively we need to look at the level of cover, both the fire and medical support, and undoubtedly things will change as a result of this," he added.

Having already instituted their own changes, Williams have now informed their rivals.

"It is a long list of procedures that we have issued to the other teams and the FIA, just to ensure that something like that doesn't happen again," he said.

Despite fears that the damage would compromise the team's effort this weekend, Gillan insists the show will go on.

"We lost all the radios, all the intercom equipment, all the rack equipment, all the IT storage system," he said. "On Bruno's car, we lost pretty much every metallic component as well due to corrosion."

Other teams have rallied round, lending the Spanish victors all manner of equipment, especially radio sets, most of which were lost in the fire.

"It won't affect the running of the cars this weekend," insisted Gillan. "In reality, you can run an F1 car with a laptop if you had to. You don't want to but we are back fully operative."

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