FIA introduces 2014 pit safety rules for this season

The FIA has reacted swiftly to the Nurburgring pit incident by introducing with immediate effect two rules already approved for 2014.

The speed limit will come down from 100km/h to 80, and pit crews will have to wear helmets.

In addition only officials and team personnel will be allowed in the pit lane in qualifying and races, and approved media will be confined to the pit wall.

A statement tonight said: Following a pit lane incident at last weekend’s German Grand Prix, the FIA has decided to take steps to increase F1 safety and is to institute an immediate ban on anyone other than event marshals and team personnel being present in pit lane during races and grand prix qualifying sessions. Access for approved media will be confined to the pit wall.
 
Last weekend’s incident at the Nürburgring occurred when, following a pit stop, a wheel became detached from the Red Bull Racing car of Mark Webber as he made his way towards the pit lane exit. The loose wheel struck a television cameraman who was hospitalised as a result. He is expected to make a full recovery.
 
In order to reduce the risk of similar accidents in the future, the FIA, on the initiative of its President, Jean Todt, will be seeking to make changes to the Formula One Sporting Regulations. In order to effect this, the FIA today informed teams that the approval of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) will immediately be sought for two changes to the Sporting Regulations. Both of these changes have already been approved for 2014. However, for safety reasons, the WMSC will be asked to approve their immediate implementation. The changes are:
 
1)    Article 23.11, which will now require all team personnel working on a car during a pit stop to wear head protection.
  
2)    Article 30.12, which will provide for a reduction of the pit lane speed limit during races from 100km/h to 80km/h (with the exception of Melbourne, Monaco and Singapore, where due to track configuration the limit remains at 60km/h).
  
Finally, in relation to the incident at the German Grand Prix, the FIA is expecting a written report from Red Bull Racing tomorrow. This will also be shared with the other teams in order to help improve pit lane safety.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “FIA introduces 2014 pit safety rules for this season

  1. Mick

    Glad to see they are acting quickly & without fear of talking about the incident, unlike FOM who seem to be only interested in banishing the incident from history by getting as many clips taken down from Youtube as possible & barely mentioning it in the news articles on their own site.

    Also wonder how long it will be before we see a surge in new camera positions such as jack-cams & pit crew helmet-cams to make up for the loss of up close pit-stop filming by FOM?

  2. floodo1

    I concur with Mick. My immediate thought was “there goes the great camera angles”, but it’s hard to argue with such sensible rule changes! Way to go FIA for the continued commitment to the safety of everyone involved!

  3. Abhishek

    Reducing the pit lane speed limit will significantly impact the drive through time and affect the car positions after pit. Also the teams will have to alter the strategy to minimize the no. of pit stops.

  4. **Paul**

    My rambling thoughts on the matter….

    I’ve seen several folks criticise these changes, but the speed change is a big one I think (I agree with them entirely btw – a safe sport isn’t any less attractive!). If a car can only accelerate up to 80km/h then the speed a rouge wheel can potentially travel at is reduced, which makes surviving an impact more likely. The counter argument is that teams should always ensure that wheels are fitted, and thus the rules don’t need amending, I’d argue that rouge wheels from pit stops are less of a threat than two cars crashing in the pit lane from unsafe releases…

    I’m not convinced that a technology responsive sport like F1 should ever shy away from a potential technical fix on top of the rule changes made.

    For a technical fix I was thinking that torque wrenches exist that bleep when something is at the correct torque. Why not link that system into something the lollipop man can see? Actually teams should do that anyway, because plenty of them have lost lots of points from wheels falling off, and that is surely not too tricky to develop – and vitally it’s not something you need to add to the car, thus is weight remains the same – no additional sensors required, just fancy wheel guns and a display from the lollipop man.

    Surely the biggest concern of the weekend should be the run-away car and the dumper truck virtually on the track ! I’ve always wondered why F1 cars can’t be winched off track rather than vehicles going on track? If you set the winch point nice and low (below drivers head height) then you’re really limiting the potential damage to F1 car into F1 car, which is far more preferable than F1 car into steel bulky tall farm/construction vehicle?

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