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How Should The FIA Deal With Pitlane Incidents?


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#1 FastestSector

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:02

So, what do you think is the right move when something like this happens? Penalties for the team? Fine for the driver?

Koby was extremely sorry in his interview and it didn't seem like he needed any sort of extra punishment as an incentive to be more careful. I understand that there needs to be EXTREME focus on doing everything possible to keep the pit lane personal safe.. but I'm not sure if a punishment like a fine/penalty is the answer. But then what is?

Thoughts?

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#2 BRG

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:11

Follow the example of other series (NASCAR, sports cars) and have far fewer people in the pitlane. Prevention is better than penalising people after the event.

#3 Jon83

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:11

Fines and penalties are not the answer. Not sure what they would achieve.

It was a freak accident which may have been in part caused by the conditions of the previous days. Things like this happen from time to time unfortunately. I'm not sure how you can ever remove the element of chance of such a thing happening.

May not be popular to say but like driving, being a pitlane mechanic has an element of risk about it and other than ban pitstops completely, you can never remove the risk 100%.



#4 Rob

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:14

Follow the example of other series (NASCAR, sports cars) and have far fewer people in the pitlane. Prevention is better than penalising people after the event.


Agreed. Perhaps also make the mechanics wait in the garage until the car has come to a complete stop.

#5 Myrvold

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:16

I'm a bit surprised actually. But well, it's the first situation like this in this season if I remember correctly. So, if it happens again, with any others, and they get the same kind of punishment. It's ok I guess. As long as they are constant with the penalties .

#6 gm914

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:18

I'm a bit surprised actually. But well, it's the first situation like this in this season if I remember correctly. So, if it happens again, with any others, and they get the same kind of punishment. It's ok I guess. As long as they are constant with the penalties .

Didnt Pedro barrel over a couple of crewmen a few weeks ago?

#7 smitten

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:19

As long as they are constant with the penalties .


You sound like you must be new to this F1 lark :rotfl:

#8 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:19

Indycar has my favourite pitstop system. One guy at each tire, a fueler, and sometimes a jack-man to run the air hose depending on whether or not it's integrated into the fuel rig.

In F1 they could easily survive with just the one guy at each wheel.

#9 johnmhinds

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:21

The fine makes no sense, he didn't crash on purpose and he didn't do anything out of malice.

It was just an accident.
What does fining him €25,000 really do.

I hope the FIA looks in the air hose gantries Sauber are using, duirng the BBC Forum they pointed out how the gantry restricts the mechanics movement which is why they couldn't move back to get out of the way when Kobi got his breaking wrong.

#10 spacekid

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:27

I really don't see what good a fine or penalty achieves. Koby didn't do anything stupid or reckless, he got caught out with a mistake and it was a nasty accident.

Motor racing is dangerous and accidents are inevitable. I don't think we can get away from this. Fining someone for an accident like this isn't going to stop it happening again.

I'm sure Koby feels just terrible about it, and that is punishment enough. The team have also been punished enough.

The only way to prevent accidents like this is to keep everyone in the garage until the car is stationary, as mentioned above. I would actually have no problem with that.

Edited by spacekid, 09 July 2012 - 14:28.


#11 Gareth

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:31

The fine makes no sense, he didn't crash on purpose and he didn't do anything out of malice.

It was just an accident.
What does fining him €25,000 really do.

I agree. It only involved his own pit crew. He wasn't trying to gain any advantage vs a competitor. He lost tonnes by doing it. He was hugely sorry.

To me, this is entirely different to other unsafe releases we have seen punished where a driver is released into the path of a competitor.

#12 Seanspeed

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:35

I like it the way it is. The element of risk sucks, but I doubt a single mechanic out there is unhappy with the situation in regards to their safety.

If you take more people out of the pitstop, it leaves more work for the individual people out there and brings out a bigger chance of mistakes and I really dont like seeing good races ruined by a mistake by a wheelgun man or jackman or whatever. I know its part of the sport, but I prefer it to remain a small part of the sport. Also, its enjoyable watching all these guys out there make these slick, blinding stops. Go and watch an IndyCar/Nascar pitstop and it seems plain clumsy in comparison. Hell, even watching races from when there was refueling seems strange now and not in a good way. So glad refueling is gone at least. I think that was a huge improvement, both for pitstop safety and performance, but also for the show in general.

In terms of penalties, I dont think fines or anything will help. The driver is gonna feel terribly upset about the mistake and that'll be enough for them to be more careful in the future. I dont think the mechanic is gonna harbor too much of a grudge or want to see their driver penalized or anything, ya know?

Edited by Seanspeed, 09 July 2012 - 14:36.


#13 FastestSector

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:57

The fine makes no sense, he didn't crash on purpose and he didn't do anything out of malice.

It was just an accident.
What does fining him €25,000 really do.

I hope the FIA looks in the air hose gantries Sauber are using, duirng the BBC Forum they pointed out how the gantry restricts the mechanics movement which is why they couldn't move back to get out of the way when Kobi got his breaking wrong.

Exactly! I think looking at the way the pits are done, rather than fining a driver who already feels awful, is the way forward.

No driver will ever want to hurt a member of their team. Fines won't make that any more true.

#14 Victor

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 22:41

Fining?!? Why should FIA profit from a driver's mistake?

#15 Rick911

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 23:34

What F1 has done: reduce entry and exit speeds in pit lane; made pit lanes wider with better lines of sight.

What they could do: put a spotter on the wall to alert pit crew of an unfolding irregular event, or make all pit crew stand until car is in the pit box, stopped.

What they should do: review the event, determine if blame is warranted and if so, issue suitable punishment. If necessary, reduce size of pit crew to reduce risk of injuries.

#16 Myrvold

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 23:36

You sound like you must be new to this F1 lark :rotfl:


Following F1 on my 14th year. It's not like I expect them to be consistent... :p

#17 johnmhinds

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 23:38

Fining?!? Why should FIA profit from a driver's mistake?


As far as I know all the fines like this go towards the FIA's road saftey projects

#18 FastestSector

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 00:37

I like the idea of keeping the pit crew in the garage until the car is there from a safety perspective... but part of me would also dislike it because I love seeing the car pop in, the crew changing wheels in 3 seconds and the car zipping off again.

It's really hard to balance safety/excitement in F1, isn't it?

#19 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:15

Indycar has my favourite pitstop system. One guy at each tire, a fueler, and sometimes a jack-man to run the air hose depending on whether or not it's integrated into the fuel rig.

In F1 they could easily survive with just the one guy at each wheel.

:up: :up: :up:

Great suggestion.

Indeed why do the f1 cars not have onboard jacks? :confused: Are they really too heavy?

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#20 ThadGreen

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:31

I'm surprised that with all the focus on safety in F1 that the pit crew is allowed to swarm around the spot where the car is suppose to stop. I would have thought that the rule(s) would be that the pit crew remain behind a line, painted or defined in some way, until the car has come to a complete stop and then the pit crew can swarm around the car and perform their assigned duties, similar to NASCA pit stops.

Edited by ThadGreen, 10 July 2012 - 04:31.


#21 FastestSector

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:38

Apparently the BBC are thinking of doing a feature on pitlane safety at the next race! Would be very interesting.

#22 Brandz07

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:41

It should be left with the teams to decide what to do, no FIA punishment was needed.

#23 Clatter

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:47

:up: :up: :up:

Great suggestion.

Indeed why do the f1 cars not have onboard jacks? :confused: Are they really too heavy?


They have been tried in the past but they are an unnecessary weight to carry around. Indy used them because there is a limit to the number (6?) of guys that can work on the car, so 2 jackmen was a problem. No such limit in F1.

#24 johnmhinds

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:49

I'm surprised that with all the focus on safety in F1 that the pit crew is allowed to swarm around the spot where the car is suppose to stop. I would have thought that the rule(s) would be that the pit crew remain behind a line, painted or defined in some way, until the car has come to a complete stop and then the pit crew can swarm around the car and perform their assigned duties, similar to NASCA pit stops.



NASCAR has had its fair share of pit lane incidents itself though...



#25 Clatter

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:52

NASCAR has had its fair share of pit lane incidents itself though...


Just think how much worse that would have been had there been 14 guys standing in the pitlane waiting for the car to arrive, and that's only counting their own pit.

#26 johnmhinds

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 13:02

I think it's better to have 14 static guys than 3-4 guys running chaotically around the car not being able to see other cars barreling at them while running 2-3 wide in the pit lane.

#27 Seanspeed

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 13:13

Just think how much worse that would have been had there been 14 guys standing in the pitlane waiting for the car to arrive, and that's only counting their own pit.

It makes more sense in NASCAR cuz there's often a dozen or more cars pitting at once that are tightly packed together(which happens often throughout a race) and every car has its own stall so things are more tightly cramped.

I actually think having the people out already provides some sense of caution for the drivers as they pull in to the pits in F1. Things are rarely as chaotic as they get in NASCAR come pitstop time.

Edited by Seanspeed, 10 July 2012 - 13:14.


#28 DrProzac

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 16:55

Follow the example of other series (NASCAR, sports cars) and have far fewer people in the pitlane. Prevention is better than penalising people after the event.

Having less people wouldn't prevent this accident.
Allowing the mechanics to go out from the garage only after the car stopped would. But the we would force than to rush out, which is also dangerous when other cars may be in the area. With so much pressure on very quick pitstops, situations with badly fastened wheel nuts etc. would occur more often.

But let's not overreact.It's F1, pitstops should be F1 style. It's a dangerous job, but there are word and the crew knows very well what are the dangers (and accepts them). The cars are running reasonably slow in the pitlane. Imho it's totally acceptable the way it is now.

BTW judging by the videos pitstops in NASCAR are much more chaotic than in F1.

Edited by DrProzac, 10 July 2012 - 17:02.


#29 johnmhinds

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 20:39

BTW judging by the videos pitstops in NASCAR are much more chaotic than in F1.


That's mainly because there are too many cars in a NASCAR race for the pit lane, there are incidents almost every race just because there isn't enough space for all the cars to pit at once.

A Le Mans style pit stop might be a better example of a modern safer small crew stop.



#30 DrProzac

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 20:49

Pitstops in endurance racing are a different thing though - refueling alone takes a lot of time. They are artificially limited (rules preventing them from changing tires when the cars is being refueled etc.). It's not about safety.

IMHO F1 style pitstops are a part of the sport. It's not nearly dangerous enough to justify otherwise unnecessary revolution.

#31 rolf123

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 21:23

Never thought I would say it but I miss refuelling in F1.

#32 TheWilliamzer

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 22:15

I think this kind of incident is due to the shortness of the pit complex where the garages are stacked so much together that the driver needs to dodge and faint crews at entry & exit from his box.

The FIA have to work alongside race organizers to provide much space between garages, or just use one and leave the next...

#33 ThadGreen

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 22:37

NASCAR has had its fair share of pit lane incidents itself though...


I wasn't trying to say that NASCAR pit stops are safer they may be more dangerous due to the having more cars in the race, more pit stops and no protection on the other side of the wall. I mentioned NASCAR because their pit members are not allowed on to pit road until the car has come to a stop.




#34 pingu666

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 22:37

theres more cars and more pitstops in a nascar race, so all things being equal, you should get more incidents


#35 johnmhinds

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:50

theres more cars and more pitstops in a nascar race, so all things being equal, you should get more incidents


But it isn't equal, the general chaotic nature of the caution flag pitting NASCAR has is a bigger effect on the kind of accidents they have than there just being more cars.

They don't even have space to pull in and park the cars straight in the pit box at most of the tracks, to then have guys running randomly around those cars is just asking for trouble.

The pitting system F1 uses is safer in nearly every way.

Edited by johnmhinds, 11 July 2012 - 09:53.


#36 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:52

Except for it being narrow, all the people in the pit box, and the people walking back and forth across the pitlane.

#37 aditya-now

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:45

Never thought I would say it but I miss refuelling in F1.


Yes, we sure had no fire in the box lately...

#38 Fastcake

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:05

Never thought I would say it but I miss refuelling in F1.


I miss Massa driving off with the fuel hose :lol:

I think this kind of incident is due to the shortness of the pit complex where the garages are stacked so much together that the driver needs to dodge and faint crews at entry & exit from his box.

The FIA have to work alongside race organizers to provide much space between garages, or just use one and leave the next...


There isn't anymore space though. F1 already uses the length of the pits, and in Monaco especially there isn't enough space now.

#39 Clatter

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:15

But it isn't equal, the general chaotic nature of the caution flag pitting NASCAR has is a bigger effect on the kind of accidents they have than there just being more cars.

They don't even have space to pull in and park the cars straight in the pit box at most of the tracks, to then have guys running randomly around those cars is just asking for trouble.

The pitting system F1 uses is safer in nearly every way.


Could be a lot safer, but that will probably only happen after someone is seriously hurt.

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#40 wingwalker

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:16

I fear there is a big (even fatal) accident in the pits waiting to happen, but it's not related to what we see here - accidents like this are always going to happen, but IMO FIA needs to take a closer look at the safe/unsafe release, ie penalize every unsafe release, no matter whether there was a contact/accident or not, as this is where the real danger lies. Watching the races one might come to a conclusion that every release that didn't result in an accident was an 'safe' one. Limiting number of people in the pits would be reasonable, too.

#41 Clatter

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:26

Not sure how that would work following a sudden downpour. It could lead to a queue with potentially worse consequences.


Why would a queue have worse consequences?


#42 bongofury

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:29

Why would a queue have worse consequences?


I was thinking of cars going into the back of each other.

In any case I deleted my comment as I think I may have got the wrong end of the stick by restricting no. of people in pit lane.

#43 wingwalker

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:45

I don't have hard data to prove that, but actually most of the hairy situation in the pits I recall didn't happen during events when the entire fields go there, as it seems everywhere is on high alert now and accepts the fact cars must go through even if it costs position. But it might be just me.