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.