Unusual pit lane rule investigation ends in embarrassing FIA admission

Sam Cooper
Crews rush to be ready in the pit lane.

Teams could be in trouble for an unusual rule regarding the pit lane.

The FIA have been unable to enforce their own rules after admitting the lack of video evidence meant they could not be sure if a rule regarding eye wear had been breached.

Lewis Hamilton was the first to be picked up on the rule shortly followed by Pierre Gasly but it was initially not clear what either driver had done to warrant an investigation.

A few moments later though, the FIA revealed it was to do with pit crew members potentially not wearing the required eye protection during a stop.

The rule in question is 34.13 of the sporting regulations which states:

“Team personnel are only allowed in the pit lane immediately before they are required to work on a car and must withdraw as soon as the work is complete.

“All team personnel carrying out any work on a car in the pit lane when the car is in its pit stop position during the qualifying session, the sprint shootout, the sprint session or during a race pit stop, must be wearing helmets which meet or exceed the requirements of ECE 22.05 – European motorcycle road helmet, DOT – USA motorcycle road helmet or JIS T8133-2015, class 2 – JPN protective helmets for automobile users. The use of appropriate eye protection is compulsory.”

But after a lengthy delay, including a time where all 10 teams were required to send a representative to meet the stewards, the sport’s referees ultimately admitted they could not impose any punishment.

They said: “Having received reports from the race director and viewed video evidence, written reports from pit marshals and heard from each of the team representatives, the stewards determine that numerous breaches of Article 34.13 appear to have occurred however the video evidence was in some cases insufficiently clear to determine where for example, a visor was open, the team member concerned may have been wearing glasses or other eye protection.

“Notwithstanding, there were numerous examples of eye protection not being used. The safety of team members is paramount. All teams are requested to stress the importance of eye protection for all personnel working on a car and ensure that this Article is respected by all team members in the future.”

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