After a cameraman was hit by a dislodged tyre in the pit lane during the German Grand Prix, pit lane safety has been a hot topic of conversation.
In the wake of the incident which occurred last Sunday, it has been decided that camera men and women and other staff not directly involved with official pit lane activities will be restricted to the pit wall.
Paul Allen, the cameraman hit by the rogue tyre, is expected to make a full recovery. However, he should be thanking his lucky stars as he could have been injured far more seriously.
The tyre broke Allen’s collar bone and cracked two of his ribs, yet if it had directly hit his skull, permanent brain damage or even his death could have been the outcome.
There has now also been talk of making helmets mandatory for all of those working in the pit lane.
This comes after Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner made the following statement to Sky Sports News;
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.”
Horner also stated;
It’s a timely reminder that working in the pitlane, whether you’re a mechanic or cameraman, is dangerous.”
If Formula 1 does implement these changes, it will not be breaking new ground as LeMans races already enforce such rules.
Though much talk has been spoken of camera men and women wearing protective clothing whilst working in the pit lane, nothing has been said regarding the team principal and company.
Christian Horner himself, sits only meters from where his cars dock for fresh tyres. He actually sits a lesser distance from where every Formula 1 race car rumbles by at 60 mph(100kph) during every race.
There is no doubt in my mind that if Mark Webber’s left rear tyre had fallen off instead of his right rear, his team principal or another might have been the one with the broken collar bone instead.
Protective clothing for all people in the pit lane should include the team principals and their company beside them.
If they are not willing to wear such garments, a transparent protective wall should be put in place between the workers on the pit wall and the race cars they preside over.