FOM to restrict media access for practice too
11 July 2013 – Media access to the pit lane is to be restricted for practice, as well as qualifying and the race, Formula One Management has said. The decision follows the FIA’s own announcement earlier this week in which it was confirmed only event marshals and team personnel would be allowed in the pit lane.
The measures have been taken after a FOM cameraman, Paul Allen was floored by a flying wheel during last weekend’s German Grand Prix.
Allen was hospitalised after the incident, having sustained two broken ribs and a broken collarbone.
The new safety measures have had a mixed response from those in the paddock, with Will Buxton, F1 pit reporter for NBC / NBCSN, pointing out it will limit their ability to do the job and provide the fans with the information they want.
“Sad news... TV crews now banned from pitlane for ALL sessions. Going to make our job very tough. Hungary will be interesting,” he said via Twitter.
“We accept the risks when entering the pitlane. Risks for practice nowhere near as great as in race situation. Hope this is reviewed soon. We don't get garage access either, so information gathering in practice sessions will rely on teams upping PR game hugely.”
Despite the changes though, Sky Sports has vowed it won’t affect its coverage of the sport: “Following the serious incident which occurred in the pitlane during the German GP last weekend, Sky Sports F1 HD will be working to all new guidelines as specified by FOM,” read a statement from the UK broadcaster.
“Safety remains a prime concern and we are sure that, whilst the new regulations will mean certain changes to pitlane protocols, we are confident that our coverage will not be affected.”