Grand Prix pit lane speed limits have been cut to 80km/h for the remainder of the 2013 season, after the FIA World Motor Sport Council opted to bring forward the regulations coming into play next year.
Starting with this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, all remaining events will have their pit lane speed limits reduced form the standard 100km/h (62.1 mph) to 80km/h (49.7mph). The exception to this will be the Singapore Grand Prix, which will have a limit of 60km/h (37.2mph) due to the confined nature of the circuit.
The only other events which will have the same 60km/h limit as Singapore will be the fellow street circuit events at Melbourne and Monte Carlo.
The FIA had announced reduced pit lane speed limits as part of a raft of rules changes being introduced for the 2014 season, but in the wake of the German Grand Prix accident – where F1 cameraman Paul Allen was flattened by stray wheel – they have decided to expedite its introduction.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone reacted quickly after the incident, declaring that F1 filming would only be permitted from the pit wall at future Grands Prix.
In a bid to further improve safety for pit crews, the Council also passed a ruling – which surprisingly didn’t exist before – that all team personnel working on cars in the pit lane must wear protective headgear.
The new rule will have an impact on race strategies, with all teams losing more time in the pit lane as a result of the reduced pit lane speed limits. Some teams may opt to cop the tyre wear challenge of longer stint out on track to avoid losing time in pit lane, while those who are harder on their tyres could find themselves suffering more as a result of being forced to pit.