New Regulations For Cameramen

Following Paul Allen’s horrendous ordeal during the German Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone has introduced new regulations which state that television crew personnel must now stand on the pit wall during races, from the Hungarian Grand Prix on-wards. They will join the photographers who also take this vantage point, as the FIA and FOM look to increase pitlane safety.
Paul Allen was a victim of a freak incident during Sunday’s German Grand Prix. Mark Webber was released from his box before the left rear tyre had been properly attached. Consequently, the tyre was launched down the pitlane and avoided by Lotus and Mercedes mechanics before it struck Allen on the back.
Allen is employed by Bernie Ecclestone’s FOM. Current regulations allow up to six FOM cameramen in the pitlane during races, as well as six photographers who are restricted to the pitwall itself. However, the cameramen at the heart of the action have no protective clothing or helmets; stark contrast to the mechanics just inches away. The incident certainly called into question the safety of these cameramen as the bouncing tyre was close to striking Allen on the head, which could easily have been a fatal blow. Fortunately, he is expected to make a full recovery, escaping from the accident with a broken collarbone and cracked rib. It could have been a far worse scenario and FOM have acknowledged this.
Ecclestone said: “I’ve been in close contact with everybody who has been dealing with the matter. It’s a terrible thing to say, but it was just one of those things. There was a whole bunch of mechanics and the tyre could have hit any one of those guys. The cameraman just happened to be looking the wrong way at the wrong time. In future, all our camera crews will only be allowed to film from the pit wall.”
Red Bull were fined £26,800 for the unsafe release of Mark Webber. In reality, the fine is merely aesthetic. What will be of concern to the teams is the safety of all pit personnel, as Christian Honer highlighted on Sunday. “The most important thing today is that the cameraman who got struck by the tyre does not appear to have suffered serious injury,” said the Brit. “It’s a timely reminder that working in the pitlane is dangerous. Everyone reacted incredibly quickly and the most important thing is to hear that he seems to be fundamentally OK.”
Fewer personnel in the pitlane during races can only be positive. It significantly reduces the chance of accidents, with only the well equipt mechanics in the dangerous areas. Safety measures are put in place to protect the pit crew’s and it is a mystery as to how the cameramen were not identified to be at risk a long time ago.    


Have Your Say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s