After a host of pitlane incidents and collisions at recent Grands Prix, the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council has voted to reduce speed limits at all Formula 1 races.
Starting this weekend in Hungary, the pitlane speed limit will be reduced from 100km/h to 80km/h. The rule change was set to be introduced in 2014 but has been brought forward due to safety concerns.
These worries were exacerbated after cameraman Paul Allen was struck by a flying tyre at the German Grand Prix earlier this month. The Brit sustained a broken collarbone and Red Bull were fined for the unsafe release of Mark Webber.
But this new rule change is another consequence of the prior lack of safety in the pits. Members of the media will also only be allowed on the pit wall from now on.
The slower pit speeds will inevitably create longer stops, which will alter how some teams approach races. With those pitting often losing more time, they may now be encouraged to conserve their tyres more.
Mechanics will receive better protection as they will be dealing with drivers travelling at slower speeds, but now they will also have to wear helmets if they are working directly on a car.
All of these changes have been implemented to ensure that there isn’t a repeat of the potentially lethal incident witnessed in Germany.
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