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FIA to hand out ten-place grid penalties for loose wheels

Fines to be replaced by grid penalties as FIA gets tough and looks to stop errant wheels
F1 teams will get a ten-place grid penalty from now on if a car is released from a pit stop with a loose wheel.

The new measures have been brought in after Formula One Management (FOM) cameraman Paul Allen was hit by a wheel that came off the Red Bull of Mark Webber in the German Grand Prix earlier this month. Allen was bowled over by the wheel and suffered a broken collarbone and broken ribs.

The punishment for failing to secure all four wheels properly will apply to all sessions – not just the race – and it is believed it will come into force in Hungary this weekend, although the FIA, motorsports governing body, has still to officially confirm the decision.

Previously teams had just been fined for failing to secure all four wheels properly, with the incident at the Nurburgring, for example, resulting in Red Bull getting slapped with a €30,000 penalty.

There were also suggestions of a imposing a minimum pit time, however, that idea was unanimously rejected.

“I think there still needs to be a competition in the pit lane,” Mark Webber told BBC Sport. “Motorsport is dangerous. We know that.

“In GP2 they have not many guys on each corner [of the car]. Maybe there are ways to keep the competition but have less technology. I'm sure they'll find a way so there is still competition but maybe make it a bit safer.”

“I don't think the problem came because of the speed. The problem came because somebody couldn't fix the tyres on the car,” added Felipe Massa.

“That's definitely dangerous.”

Meanwhile, the FIA has announced further plans that will 'greatly reduce' media access to the pitlane in a bid to improve safety [see separate story].

Tagged as: FIA , Pit stop , Grid penalty

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22.03.2013 - free practice 2, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9 practices a pit stop. 22.02.2013.

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July 25, 2013 11:09 PM
Last Edited 1456 days ago

I have not seen one change that addresses the wheel problem. Pit lane speed did not contribute or cause the tire prob. Having a cameraman in pit lane did not contribute or cause the tire prob. And now a grid spot penalty won't prevent it. How about a standard wheel gun with a positive lock, it will not release unless wheel and nut engaged. It could lock out gearbox.

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