Cameraman taken to hospital after pit lane incident

2013 German Grand Prix

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2013The FIA has confirmed British cameraman Paul Allen has been taken to hospital after being struck by a wheel during the German Grand Prix.

A statement released by the sport’s governing body said: “During the German Grand Prix, an FOM cameraman in pit lane was struck by a loose wheel. Paul Allen was hit on the left hand side.

“Remaining conscious, he was treated at the circuit medical centre and then transported by helicopter to Koblenz Hospital.

“The Briton has been kept there, under observation. Further information from the hospital will be provided as soon as it becomes available.”

Allen was hit by a wheel which came off Mark Webber’s Red Bull when he made his first pit stop during the race. The team are under investigation for releasing Webber’s car unsafely from the pit box.

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49 comments on Cameraman taken to hospital after pit lane incident

  1. Sam (@samb91) said on 7th July 2013, 16:08

    Should they ban traffic light systems?

    Would having a lollypop improve safety?

  2. S.J.M (@sjm) said on 7th July 2013, 16:08

    I wonder if now they need to impose a limit of how many of the crew can be in the pit lane during the race, similar to Le Mans were only 2 can work on a car during a stop. I know the teams want quicker pitstops but if they are slowed down just a few seconds then mistakes are less likely to happen.

  3. Fixy (@fixy) said on 7th July 2013, 16:17

    Tyres can do much harm. Think of the 2000 Italian GP marshal Ghislimberti who died after being struck in the head by a wheel, or Henry Surtees in 2009 that also died whilst racing and being struck – on the helmet – by a wheel.
    This cameraman, although the incident was very unfortunate, is lucky to be, apparently, pretty much fine.
    And there could have been more than one person struck by the wheel, so we have been fortunate this time: now let’s try to prevent it from happening again.

  4. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 7th July 2013, 17:19

    I know it wouldn’t have necessarily made a difference in todays incident but EVERYBODY who is in the “hot” area of the garage and/or in pitlane/pitwall should be required to wear firesuits & helmets at all times. Crew members, Officials, guys on the Pitwall, Cameramen, Reporters, etc, sure it may be slightly hot & uncomfortable but there is absolutely no reason that something that is regarded as the “Pinnacle of Motorsports” which is ran by the “Most Powerful Sanctioning Body in the World” shouldn’t have safety rules in place that many other smaller/less pinnacle series/sanctioning bodies around the world have.

    Secondly, I’m a firm believer in “pitcrew are not allowed to wait on the car”, meaning that they have to stay behind the wall/line until the car is in the box & stopped.

    Thirdly we need to reduce the amount of people in pitlane and that can be done a few ways.
    — Air Jacks, yes I know people are going to reply to this crying about the added weight, well ya know if it’s a spec part then the weight is the same for each team so that’s really a non-issue. This gets rid of 2 people and also makes it harder for a car to be prematurely released before the wheels are fastened.

    — Only 2 Tire Changers & 2 tire carriers, 1 pair for the front & 1 pair for the rear (so left & right side can not be changed at the same time). This will eliminate atleast 4 people as well as slow down the pitstops a bit.

    — Only 3 people allowed to change the nose & they are only to be in the box if the nose is being changed.

    — Only 1 person allowed to change the angle of the wings & only allowed in the box if those changes are being made.

  5. Paul A (@paul-a) said on 7th July 2013, 18:24

    Ye gods — everyone seems to be suggesting “regulate, regulate, regulate…” Accidents happen. RBR didn’t intend to send the car out on three wheels. The cameraman didn’t start his day planning to end up in hospital.
    First and foremost, I wish him a speedy recovery. After that, (and despite his being an experienced guy), it’s up to FOM to make sure that their employees are properly trained to keep an eye open for accidents about to happen. How do you teach your kids to cross the road? If there’s no pedestrian/zebra crossing, “look left, look right, then look left again” (invert left/right as required.)
    But we don’t need more regulations — drivers are not lawyers, and team managers are not barristers.
    Again, speedy recovery to the injured chap.

  6. tmax (@tmax) said on 7th July 2013, 18:53

    Wishing a Speedy recovery to paul….

    I am not sure if the Incident should induce knee jerk reactions. If anything the whole thing should be thought through. Maybe it needs some suttle changes , Maybe there is no change needed, maybe there needs an overhaul or Maybe Camera men should not be allowed in that areas as they are not well protected, agile and trained like the put crew. I say we should not jump into conclusions here within half hour.

  7. Shimks (@shimks) said on 8th July 2013, 0:19

    That was really an awful incident. Looking forward to hearing that he’s going to be okay. A miracle, really, considering the size of that wheel and the force with which it hit him. It could have been much worse. :(

  8. schooner (@schooner) said on 8th July 2013, 0:53

    Back when they were still refueling the cars (which had its own inherent set of dangers), the wheel and jack guys had just a bit more time to be deliberate and careful about their work. These current, sub 3 second pit stops are so crazy fast, pushing human limits, and are putting an enormous amount of strain and pressure on the crews. It’s good fun to watch, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the FIA wound up mandating some sort of spec wheel nuts and guns to slow the procedure down, and make it a little bit more reliable and safer. It’s always distasteful for a true F1 fan to see innovation regulated out of the sport, but in this case, it might be the right thing to do.

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