Drivers involved over pitlane security at Paul Ricard


Formulation 1 drivers and crew insiders have expressed doubts about each the pit entry and exit at Paul Ricard – with the rain predicted for the French Grand Prix doubtlessly including to their issues.

Each layouts have been mentioned at size in Friday night’s drivers briefing, though there was no scope to make any adjustments inside this weekend.

The entry has aroused issues as a result of drivers should make a decent left flip proper in entrance of the Mercedes pit, doubtlessly placing the Brackley crew’s crew members in danger.

That led to race director Charlie Whiting slicing the velocity restrict from 80km/h to 60 km/h after FP1, with a purpose to scale back the dangers.

Nevertheless, drivers have urged that it may nonetheless be difficult within the moist.

The exit has attracted consideration as a result of vehicles emerge on the racing line, and there are issues that spray may very well be a difficulty within the moist.

Mercedes crew principal Toto Wolff admitted that he had some issues for the security of his crew members, particularly after the current DTM race at the Hungaroring, when three officers have been injured in accidents when drivers misplaced management in a moist pitlane.

“I am notably delicate after what has occurred in DTM,” Wolff mentioned.

“We had some horrible accidents with dreadful accidents, vehicles aquaplaning into folks, and into pit tools. Tomorrow with rain, clearly the storage entry is a fear.

“However I’ve 100 p.c confidence in Charlie and his males that by lowering the velocity restrict, will probably be OK.”

In Friday’s drivers briefing, Lewis Hamilton questioned why Mercedes had been given the primary pit storage, by the left hand kink, when garages on the far finish of the pitlane are both empty, or are being utilized by the FIA.

His rivals shared his issues.

“For us drivers, we’re protected in a method,” mentioned Daniel Ricciardo. “It’s the mechanics who’re in danger.

“The structure of the entry will not be the perfect, however it’s such a protracted pitlane. I’m certain Lewis will not thoughts me mentioning, however he requested why did we now have to start out the pit containers so early, why may we not push all of it again?

“So we’re not turning into the mechanics, so to talk. I believe he had a legitimate level, so with the present structure it’s one thing they might have simply finished. Within the moist we can have some warning.”

“With the guardrails and the angles you are coming into the pitlane it is placing among the guys, particularly at Mercedes, in danger,” mentioned Stoffel Vandoorne.

“It occurs very quick and for certain 60km/h is best already however I believe they might have finished a bit higher by shifting all of the containers a bit additional away.

“It appears there are one other couple of containers on the different finish of the pitlane. I believe there was a straightforward resolution in place.”

Carlos Sainz is especially involved in regards to the exit, particularly in moist situations.

“It is one thing to watch out about,” mentioned the Spaniard. “Each the pit entry and the pit exit is one thing that the drivers can pay specific consideration to, since you do not need to overheat your braking into the pit entry, and you do not need to hit a automotive popping out of the pit exit at most velocity.

“I believe we’re all very acutely aware of that, and everyone knows that tomorrow in all probability that one cease you are going to make with a tiny bit extra consciousness.

“So long as you exit the pitlane you’re on the racing line, and it relies on the automotive behind, as a result of with these mirrors you actually do not see if there’s anybody coming. We are going to rely a bit on the radio, and on the automotive behind to see us exiting the pitlane.”

Concerning the potential for rain he added: “I have not seen the forecast but it surely seems like individuals are beginning to discuss rain once more for tomorrow. If that is the case we have to be cautious, as a result of that pit exit, when you get a little bit of spray and you do not see the automotive coming, it may very well be a little bit of a state of affairs.

“However we’re Formulation 1 drivers, and we hope that we are able to keep away from any form of unusual state of affairs.” 

Sergio Perez, Pressure India VJM11

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Photographs