The FIA has begun a detailed investigation in to Formula 1 pit stop technology used by teams in a bid to work out whether further safety steps need to be made.
Following a cameraman getting hit by a loose wheel from Mark Webber’s Red Bull at the German Grand Prix, there has been a renewed focus on potential dangers in the pitlane.
McLaren sporting director Sam Michael has revealed that part of the process being undertaken by F1 now is that motor racing’s governing body has increased its scrutiny on what teams are up to.
“The FIA are being very active on this,” explained Michael. “They have asked all the teams in the pitlane how their traffic light systems work, how cars are released, and what the inputs are. They have not only asked for that information, but they have come down to physically check equipment and have a look at what we have got.
“I think at the end of that, they will come to the conclusion that the main thing is to go back to the source of the problem, and that is to keep the wheel on.”
Although the idea of a minimum pit stop time has been rejected by all teams, Michael thinks there could be some merit in looking at better wheel retention systems, although fail-safe concepts may not be ready for at least one year.
“We are still a year or two away from achieving a truly robust system, because they are in quite embryonic stages,” said Michael. “In addition to that, my view is that you should never remove the human input, so you could have a sensor system to confirm a wheel was on and tight.
“That can be combined with the human input to allow the car to go. If you have a sensor failure you need to have the ability also to see it happening, and have the ability to stop it rather than let it rule.”