Cameramen banned from pit after Webber’s wheel of misfortune

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The FIA has announced that it is immediately altering safety measures by limiting pitlane access to team personnel and marshals following an incident which saw Mark Webber’s runaway wheel injure cameraman Paul Allen at the German Grand Prix.

Webber and his team inadvertently made the headlines for all the wrong reasons on Sunday when cameraman Allen was hospitalised after being hit by a wheel which had worked loose from the Aston Clinton racer’s Red Bull following a pit stop on lap eight of the race.

Mark Webber in the pit lane at the German Grand Prix before his wheel came off and injured a cameraman      PHOTO: Red Bull Media

Mark Webber in the pit lane at the German Grand Prix before his wheel came off and injured a cameraman PHOTO: Red Bull Media

The move means media will be confined to the pitwall from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards (July 28).

In a statement on Tuesday night, the governing body also said it would use the World Motor Sport Council to immediately approve two amendments to the Sporting Regulations.

The change to Article 23.11 means that all team personnel working on a car during pit stops will require head protection and the amended Article 30.12 will reduce the pitlane speed limit during races from 100 km/h to 80 km/h. For the street circuits in Melbourne, Monaco and Singapore, the speed limit will remain 60 km/h.

Both the changes had already been approved for next season. However, the statement said that the FIA has brought them forward “on the initiative of its President, Jean Todt”.

Webber said his race result of seventh was insignificant as he wished cameraman Allen a speedy recovery earlier this week.

Allen suffered a broken collarbone and ribs but is expected to make a full recovery. The current world champions were subsequently fined €30,000 for an unsafe pit release.

Meanwhile, the sport’s governing body confirmed it “expecting a written report from Red Bull Racing on Thursday. This will also be shared with the other teams in order to help improve pit lane safety.”