FIA race director Charlie Whiting has said that he will continue to push for greater safety in F1 for drivers and for track staff, after the tragic death of a marshall working at last year's Canadian Grand Prix.

Mark Robinson tripped and fell under the wheels of mobile crane deployed to move the crashed Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez late in the race, which Whiting said was a "dreadfully unfortunate" incident and one that would lead to changes in safety protocols.

"If you are using one of those JCB-like vehicles to lift a car, you should never walk in front of it: it kind of stands to reason," Whiting said while giving the annual Watkins Lecture run by the Motorsport Safety Fund at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham on Friday.

He added that all marshalls would now be briefed on this point before future races. He also said that a system used in Brazil to stabilise a car being lifted by a crane would be recommended to other events, as this would reduce the number of marshalls needed in the vicinity of the mobile crane to stop a car spinning in the air at the end of its tether while being raised up.

The other major safety concern that arose in 2013 was in the pit lane, after a FOM cameraman was injured by an improperly secured wheel that flew off Mark Webber's Red Bull during the German Grand Prix.

Restrictions on who could work in the pit lane during a race were quickly introduced after Paul Allen suffered a broken collarbone and broken ribs, but Whiting has said that he was against the suggestion of adding minimum pit stop times to the regulations.

"It's been discussed but it's not something that's likely to happen, definitely not," Whiting told NBC later. "I think that would be a bad move and I don't think it would achieve anything.

"I don't think if you had a mandatory minimum pit stop time it would change anything," he said, doubtful that the time would result in any change to the fitting of the tyres. "They would still change the wheels quickly and you'd have the rather odd sight of a car just sitting there for the rest of the time."

Instead, Whiting said he was more concerned with why fitting new tyres during a race should be proving so problematic, and how a team's pit stop procedures could allow them to send out a car with tyres not fully secured.

"Why did that wheel not get fixed on properly?" he stressed. "And why was the car released in an unsafe condition?"

"What we've done since then is to introduce mandatory two-stage wheel retention devices on the wheel nuts," he explained. "We have made it compulsory to have the button on the gun have to be in a position where the operator has to make a distinct move to say 'Yes, I'm done.'

"Each gun has a button which the operator presses to say he's done so then the jack men get two green lights on the end of the car, drop the car, then the guy releasing the car sees two green jacks," he continued. "We've also introduced an override on the pit wall which is saying that nothing can happen until he takes his finger off the button as well."

On a more upbeat note, Whiting revealed that he was "a great fan" of the DRS (Drag Reduction System, or adjustable rear wing) and defended it from criticism that it took too much away from the skill of the drivers by making in-race overtaking too easy.

"I know some people are opposed to it and really think it is not pure enough. I completely disagree with that view," Whiting insisted on Friday in Birmimgham. "It still requires extreme skill from the driver. It is not as if it's turn on, overtake, go, done.

"If you understand the reasoning about it and what is required to actually overtake, it still takes a great deal from the driver."

Whiting added that there were no plans to make further changes to the DRS system or the rules governing its use during a Grand Prix weekend in 2014.



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