Formula 1’s pitlane speed limit has been officially reduced from the Hungarian Grand Prix, after the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council voted in favor of a change in the regulations.
As a response to an FOM cameraman being hit by a loose wheel from Mark Webber’s car at the Nurburgring, the FIA announced that it wanted to fast-track changes to the pit rules that had originally been planned for 2014.
Following approval from the WMSC, with immediate effect the pitlane speed limit will be cut from 100kph in the race to 80 kph for entire grand prix weekends. As well as being designed to help improve safety, because mechanics in the pits will now be used to dealing with cars at the same speed in both practice and the races, the change will have strategic implications.
For the 341 meter pitlane at the Hungaroring, the time taken to drive down it will increase from 12.3 seconds as it was at 100kph to now be 16.4 seconds. This increased time could push teams toward making fewer stops because of the increased penalty that now comes from more tire changes.
The WMSC has also approved the introduction of a rule that stipulates all team members who work on a car during pit stops must now wear helmets.
Article 23.11 of the revised F1 Sporting Regulations states: “All team personnel carrying out any work on a car during a race pit stop must be wearing head protection.”