The cameraman hit by Mark Webber's errant wheel in the early stages of the German Grand Prix has reportedly escaped with cuts and bruises from what could have been a far more serious incident.
Webber had been running second to Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel at the time of his first pit-stop, but was allowed to leave his stall before the right-rear had been properly attached. The acceleration forces sent the loose wheel running down pit-lane before it clipped equipment laid out at another garage and was flicked into the air, catching the FOM cameraman – who was facing the opposite direction – in the back, knocking him to the floor.
The man was immediately attended to by members of the Mercedes team, which had been closest to the incident, before medical staff arrived, and was initially diagnosed with 'chest pains and concussion'. That report was subsequently amended to include a broken shoulder, cracked ribs, bruising and cuts following his transfer to hospital in nearby Koblenz.
“During the German GP, an FOM cameraman in pit-lane was struck by a loose wheel,” an official FIA communiqué confirmed, “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.”
Webber, meanwhile, was pushed back into his stall and took on another tyre before rejoining the race a lap behind Vettel. The Australian got a break when the safety car was scrambled on lap 23, allowing him to get his lap back and, from there, he scrapped his way to seventh at the flag.