Tightest F1 pit lanes risk ‘very dangerous situations’ · RaceFans

Carlos Sainz Jnr has warned that some pit lanes Formula 1 uses risk creating “very dangerous situations” because they are so narrow.

The Ferrari driver was given a 10-second time penalty for an unsafe release from his pit box during last weekend’s race at Zandvoort. However he maintains he had to take evasive action when a McLaren mechanic appeared in front of him, which slowed his exit and caused him to hold up Fernando Alonso.

Sainz says more attention needs to be paid to the safety of mechanics in F1. “I think it’s something that is not talked about enough,” he said.

“We go to pit lanes during the year that are definitely too tight and we need to improve safety,” he said. “We need to improve safety for the mechanics because we forget that those people wearing suits and helmets during the pit stops are in the middle of cars going at 80kph and there’s centimetres apart from accidents and from very dangerous situations.”

Zandvoort has one of the tightest pit lanes F1 visits. Formula 2 told its drivers they were not allowed to make their mandatory pit stops during Safety Car periods at the track.

However F1 had no similar rule and Sainz incurred his penalty when multiple drivers pitted during a Safety Car period. He said more needs to be done there and at other circuits to protect mechanics.

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“I feel Zandvoort is a great track,” he said. “I want to go back there every year and I want to to keep racing at Zandvoort, Singapore, Budapest – I’m talking about narrow pit lanes.

“But we need to think about the the mechanics and how tight everything is in there because it’s just too tight and I think we need to to improve the safety.

“We talk a lot about car safety, circuit safety but in the pit lane I’m concerned that one day something could happen if we keep having these narrow pit lanes and so much going on, especially when there’s multiple pit stops going on at the same time.”

Sainz said he raised the matter after last week’s race and may pursue it further today. “It hasn’t been questioned yet in a GPDA meeting or FIA meeting. But it’s something that I brought up to the stewards after the race explaining to them why did I have an unsafe release or what they called and unsafe release.

“I think I made the message clear to the stewards, they would pass that to through the race director and the FIA. Whether it’s a matter that I would raise in the drivers meeting I haven’t thought about it, but it might be a possibility.”

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