F1 » Horner calls for pit lane safety improvements

Christian Horner: Mechanics have to wear safety gear and helmets and perhaps it's time we looked at safety equipment for other operational people working in the pit lane as well

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July 08, 2013 6:06 PM

Accidents are part of the nature of dangerous sports.
The teams need to be pushed to being more responsible at not doing unsafe pitstops and tyre changes. Pitlane personel need to be vigilant and not have their backs to cars coming at them wherever possible.
Le Mans make media wear protective headgear and clothing, and DTM stop the majority of press being in the pitlane at all.
F1 can be safer. A sensible review is required at this time. I wish the TV cameraman a quick and painfree recovery.


July 09, 2013 2:59 AM

And how exactly will the wearing of a helmet by a cameraman prevent a broken shoulder?
And can you operate a camera with a crash helmet on?

A better safety improvement would be to ensure your cars dont leave the pits with only 3 wheels attached.

I believe that Le Mans also only allow 4 people to work on the car in pit lane. That would at least reduce the mass of people in the pits and thus the number of targets available.


July 09, 2013 8:14 AM

I think you would find benefit from wearing head protection if something hits you at 30 mph, and you bump your head badly. The cameraman was fortunate this time.
Helmets could be used by media, as it happens already elsewhere. It would be a nuisance, but feasable.
Maybe making the teams stop the car for a minimum time of 4 secs would make them do safer stops.
FOM have smaller numbers of TV people now, so perhaps they can keep their personel safe by putting them in thegarage aprons and on the pitwall on raceday.
We get good tv shots from pretty much everywhere.
Keeping the race going is vital, but not to compromise safety is most important.


July 09, 2013 11:53 AM

The wheel hit the cameraman on the back, not the head and no helmet on Earth would have helped him and anyway, he broke his shoulder, not his skull.
Perhaps a Bibendum* style outfit should be worn by everyone in the pit lane to not compromise on safety. That might have helped.

In the world of safety, prevention is better than cure. They don't allow the media to set up on the track to get a better picture so why allow them in the pit lane? They are not necessary.

* aka Michelin man


July 09, 2013 12:35 PM

mr fill. would it be a good idea to have a Pirelli hit a Michelin? :D :D

seriously though, this camera work is all part of the spectacle that the viewers want to see a nd that Bernie is determined to provide. years ago, photographers stood at every corner of a track, without the aid of barriers or even straw bales. I don't know if any were injured, but we saw some great photos of fangio, moss etc, coming within inches of the camera.
some tracks now use overhead cameras (Silverstone does too), but maybe a couple of extra fixed cameras could be wall mounted at each pit box, to provide us with the required shots?

whilst saying all that, the wheel went through the merc pit crew and macca (I think), and didn't hit anyone. had it done so, the injuries would have been the same. it is not sensible to have a knee-jerk reaction to a one off event, but possibly there should be a limit on the number of persons in the pits during a race?


July 09, 2013 2:07 PM

Totally agree.
The other crews were able to miss the wheel as they were looking that direction. The poor cameraman had his back to the action, otherwise he would probably have side stepped the missile.

I was watching a very old Monaco GP recently and it was amazing to see women pushing prams along the pavement while the race was going on. None of them were wearing crash helmets either!

Robot cameras would certainly eliminate the problem from the pit lane. Cameras could still be in the garages and their operators safe.

As an FOM employee I suspect the injured chap will have waived his right to sue for injury and the negligent party (RBR) will escape with a relatively minor fine. Pity.


July 09, 2013 8:59 PM

Hopefully the tv cameraman will have personal insurance
to help him recover.
It would appear that Bernie already has done his bit
and got rid of all media from the pitlane, so FOM are safe in future.
Some Of The £30,000 FINE should be given to the injured party, not the FIA.
This outfit you think people should wear, is it shiney and chrome and worn by people who joust whilst on horseback...??
The pits have always been dangerous, and the most risky place at a race track. Media work within guidelines set out by FOM. As you say had the man been looking, maybe he could have ducked, shimmied, or vanished in a puff of smoke.......however he wasnt and he didnt. Auto camera views will now be the norm in the pitlane, and a few more FOM personel will be stationed in a more safe place.
I look forward to the suit of armour that one must now wear......!!

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