July 23, 2013
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The Austrian Grand Prix is set to make a return to the F1 scene after a 10-year absence, after a deal was announced between the circuit and FOM today.
The Red Bull Ring, which formerly went under the name of A1 Ring, and previously the Osterreichring (in a different layout), is set to take place on the 6th of July 2014. The circuit was only reopened in 2011, after it was bought out and renovated by Red Bull.
It is reported that an agreement has been reached between Bernie Ecclestone and Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz to host the Grand Prix next year, although it is unclear for how many years the race will run for.
The track in its current layout is 4.3km long, but only has 10 corners. It is believed that there will not be any extensions to the circuit, meaning that it will almost certainly be the quickest lap on the F1 calendar next year.
July 9, 2013
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The FIA has decided to enforce new rules regarding the pit lane for the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards, after an FOM cameraman was struck by a wheel during last week’s German Grand Prix.
Paul Allen suffered a broken collarbone, broken ribs and a concussion after Mark Webber’s stray right rear wheel detached and hit the FOM employee. He is in a stable condition, but the FIA has decided to introduce measures to try to prevent this from happening again.
Only marshals and team personnel are allowed in the pit lane, while FOM approved media crew have been moved to the pit wall. Helmets are now mandatory for all team members involved in pit stops.
The reduction in pit lane speed limit – from 100kph to 80kph – has been fast-tracked so that it will be enforced at the next race. It is unclear whether the current 60kph speed limit during practice or qualifying will be changed.
The Singapore, Monaco and Australian Grands Prix circuits will have 60kph limits instead, since they feature much narrower pit lanes.
These measures were fast-tracked by Jean Jodt, who instructed the World Motor Sports Council to immediately ratify these changes. However, several complaints have already been voiced over these measures, noting that Allen wearing a helmet would not have prevented any injury. The death of Henry Surtees in 2009 after a wheel strike backs up this claim.
July 7, 2013
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The FIA has confirmed that an FOM cameraman has been injured and taken to hospital, during an incident during today’s German Grand Prix.
Paul Allen was operating in the Lotus pit box, when he was struck by a stray wheel from Mark Webber’s Red Bull. He has since been trnasferred to hospital, and is reportedly conscious and talking to doctors.
The FIA statement reads as follows:
"During the German Grand Prix, an FOM cameraman in pit lane was struck by a loose
wheel. Paul Allen was hit on the left hand side.
Remaining conscious, he was treated at the circuit medical centre and then
transported by helicopter to Koblenz Hospital.
The Briton has been kept there, under observation. Further information from the
hospital will be provided as soon as it becomes available.