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Red Bull to redesign wheel guns

11 July 2013

Red Bull has revealed that it will change the design of its wheel guns to ensure there is no repeat of the incident that saw Mark Webber released from his pit stall in Germany when a rear wheel wasn't properly attached to his car.

The right rear became detached from the Australian's car seconds after he pulled away and hit cameraman Paul Allen, leaving him with a broken collarbone and broken ribs.

Both the FIA and Formula One Management have since announced changes to the regulations regarding who can be present in the pits on a race weekend, with TV personnel having now been banned from the pits for all sessions when cars are on track.

As suggested by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, the cause of the issue with Webber's pit stop has now been traced to the wheel gun, with the man on the wheel gun having accidently pressed a button which gave Webber a signal to go.

The issue arose when the wheel nut on the right rear became cross-threaded as it was fitted to the car, leading to the man using the gun taking the decision to remove it and replace it with another to allow Webber to rejoin the race.

It was at that point however that the gun slipped in his hand and the button signalling that his work was complete was pressed, telling the jack man that he could release the car.

That meant he gave Webber the signal to leave, even though there was no nut attached to hold the right rear wheel in place.

Red Bull will now revise the design of the wheel gun to ensure that if is accidentally rotated in the gunman's hand in a similar way again in future, the signal can't be sent to the jack man by accident.

The jack man will also be told not to release the car in the event of any issues without being given a clear signal from the four men working on the wheels that everything is okay.

Red Bull revealed the cause of the problem in a report sent to the FIA and rival teams at the request of the governing body to try and ensure there are no similar incidents anywhere else in the field.


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