Formula 1


Charlie Whiting to discuss pit stop safety with Formula 1 teams

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Formula 1 is widely viewed as one of the most potentially dangerous sports in the planet.

While the drivers are widely recognised as the people who appear to be in the most danger, you also have to spare a thought for the pit-crew for all the teams.

There is so much pressure on these individuals to get things right, and it is not like they have time on their side.

Literally every second matters, and every mistake is magnified to the nth degree.

This season has seen a number of unsafe releases in the pit lane, and a serious injury at the Chinese GP, where one of Ferrari's mechanics suffered a broken leg.

It has led to F1 race director Charlie Whiting preparing to present a possible solution to the teams in the next few weeks.

"We can introduce a few things to improve, to decrease the likelihood of mistakes," Whiting told the official Formula 1 website.

"We have learned something. We need to again analyse things to ensure things that we do, we do it precisely to make sure everyone follows that.


"The challenge is deciding which bits needs to be automated and which bits need to be operated by a human. I think I have a clear idea on what we might need to do for the future but I will be discussing it with the teams in the coming weeks I say."

Everyone has to play their part at a pit stop, it is the definition of a team effort.

It is the job of the mechanic on the wheelgun to press a button when his change is complete.

When all four wheels are done, the driver is given a green light and each team appoints a mechanic who can override the system.

F1 Grand Prix of China

There has been some talk that a two-wheel gun sensor could be implemented in the near future which would make it easier for all concerned.

It is a system that some teams have already implemented.

“I don't think there's any reason to standardise [the system]," Whiting added. "We need to make sure among other things that there is no possibility for the guy to give the OK until those two conditions have been met.

"Some teams have a torque sensor on the gun and they have a position sensor.

"If you only have the torque sensor, you can gun the nut on and it can be cross-threaded and it'll show the required torque but it won't be tight, which is what happened to both Haas cars for example and the McLaren on Friday [in China].


"So some teams have got that as well as a position sensor, so if it gets to the required torque and it hasn't moved the right amount, then it says it's not done.

"So you're using two sensors in order to tell the operator that it’s actually done up. Then he presses the button, the jack drops and the car goes.”

It is an issue that has many different layers, but as long as the safest protocol is undertaken at all times then that is the main concern.

Formula 1

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