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F1 acts on pitlane safety

NEWS STORY
09/07/2013

Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that in the wake of the incident during Sunday's German Grand Prix, camera crews will only be allowed to film pitlane action from the pit wall in future.

As the world waited with bated breath for a repeat of the Silverstone tyre carnage, it was an accident involving a detached wheel and a cameraman that made the headlines.

Save the odd complaint from Lewis Hamilton, Pirelli's tyres did everything demanded of them however, the media got its 'horror headline' when Mark Webber was released from his first pit stop before all four wheels had been fitted.

Just a few yards out of his box, the Australian's right-rear wheel began to wobble before becoming detached from the car and bouncing down the pitlane. Passing a number of rival teams' garages it eventually hit FOM cameraman Paul Allen. Thankfully, Allen, 'only' suffered a broken collarbone and fractured ribs however, the incident was a much needed reminder of just how dangerous a Formula One pitlane is.

In addition to whether so many people are actually needed in the pitlane, and whether they should all be wearing protective clothing, questions have been asked about pit stops and whether the sport focusses too much on speed and not enough on safety.

"These cars have so much energy in them and it is a timely reminder that things can go wrong," said Christian Horner after Sunday's race. "The mechanics wear safety gear and helmets, maybe it is time that we looked at safety equipment for the other operational people working in the pit lane. The camera guys are getting close to the action. They are getting some great pictures but it is still a dangerous environment.

Following some of the more sensational headlines yesterday - 'More F1 Madness' - proclaimed the Daily Mail - F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has promised that action will be taken.

"The cameraman just happened to be looking the wrong way at the wrong time," Sky Sports quotes him as saying. "In future, all our camera crews will only be allowed to film from the pit wall. There was a whole bunch of mechanics and the tyre could have hit any one of those guys."

Just a week earlier, at Silverstone, drivers, team bosses and F1 officials paid tribute with a minute's silence to Canadian marshal Mark Robinson who was killed when run over by a crane during the Canadian Grand Prix.

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