FIA working on measures to reduce pit stop errors

Have pit stops become too fast to be safe? (2:22)

After an injury to a Ferrari mechanic in Bahrain, Jennie Gow and Craig Scarborough ask if safety has been sacrificed for speed in Formula One pit stops. (2:22)

The FIA is working with Formula One teams to make pit stops safer following a spate of unsafe releases in recent races.

Both Haas cars retired from the Australian Grand Prix with cross-threaded wheelnuts before a Ferrari mechanic suffered a broken leg when Kimi Raikkonen was released from a pit stop too early in Bahrain. There have also been unsafe releases during practice sessions since the start of the year, as well as an issue that saw a wheel come off Fernando Alonso's McLaren in testing.

"I think we can introduce a few things to decrease the likelihood of mistakes," FIA race director Charlie Whiting said. "I think we have learned something, but I think we need to, again, analyse these things to ensure what we do, we do it precisely and make sure everyone is able to follow it.

"It's deciding which bits needs to be automated and which bits needs to be operated by a human. I think I have a clear idea on what we might need to do for the future but I will be discussing it with the teams in the coming week."

Whiting explained that a number of the issues have been related to automated sensors, which are designed to register when a tyre has been properly fitted but can also give erroneous readings.

"Some teams have a torque sensor on the gun and they have position sensor, so if you just have torque sensor, you can gun the nut on and it can be cross-threaded and it'll show the required torque but it won't be tight, which is what happened to both Haas cars for example and the McLaren on Friday.

"So some teams have got that as well as a position sensor, so if it gets to the required torque and it hasn't moved the right amount, then it says it's not done. So if you have a stroke sensor and a torque sensor, those two inputs give the operator a green light on his gun and then he says it's done. So you're using two sensors, in order to tell the operator that it's actually done up and then he presses the gun, the jacks drop and the car goes."

Asked if pit stop systems could be standardised across all teams to improve safety, Whiting added: "I don't think there's any need to standardise it, but I think what we need to do is make sure the operator can't press the button before they're done, because effectively they could just go in there with a thumb on it and just do it and come off. And we need to make sure that, among other things, there is no possibility for the guy to give the OK until those two conditions have been met."