“We need to improve safety for the mechanics,” Carlos Sainz asks FIA to look into ever-narrowing F1 pitlanes

Carlos Sainz, the Ferrari driver, has recently put light on the issue of narrow pitlanes in Formula One.

The Double Stack
Carlos Sainz during the double-stack.

Carlos Sainz has been in F1 for a long time and is well aware of how risky some of the recent tracks have become because of their narrow pitlanes. The Spaniard while shedding light on it has asked FIA to look at the safety of the mechanics who are in the firing lines most of the time.

Carlos Sainz was one of many drivers who were involved in unsafe release incidents during the Dutch Grand Prix, and in his case, he drove into the path of Fernando Alonso.

The 28-year-old received a 5-second time penalty for his unsafe release but he was more concerned with the risks to the lives of mechanics in the narrow pitlanes.

While stressing about it Sainz said, “Absolutely, I think it’s something that is not talked about enough, that we go to pit lanes during the year that are definitely too tight.”

And we need to improve safety for the mechanics because we forget that those people wearing suits and helmets during the pitstops are in the middle of cars going at 80kph, and they are centimeters apart from incidents and from very dangerous situations.

Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz

And I feel Zandvoort’s a great track, I want to go back there every year. And I want to keep racing at Zandvoort, Singapore, and Budapest, but I’m talking about narrow pitlanes.”

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

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Carlos Sainz feels pitlanes become dangerous when multiple cars come in for their respective pitstops

Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz in his many years in F1 has seen how the sport has evolved over the years and feels that the narrowing pitlanes are a major concern going ahead into the future years of the sport.

Moreover, has indicated that the risk level for the mechanics gets increased 10-folds when multiple cars are trying to get the jump on the other in the pitlane.

Sainz further adds, “We talk a lot about car safety, circuit safety. But in the pitlane, I’m concerned that one day something would happen if we keep having these narrow pit lanes and so much going on, especially when there are multiple pitstops going on at the same time.”

Carlos Sainz is not the only driver who thinks that the pitlanes should be looked at and George Russell, the GDPA Chairman is also with the Spaniard on the issue and has said, “Certainly in Zandvoort it was too tight, and something needs to be done about it, said the Mercedes driver. “There’s no doubt about it. It must be pretty daunting for the guys doing the pit stop.”

George Russell
George Russell

When you’ve got a car coming in at 60 or 80km/h, and you’re coming out, the tires are cold, the car is kicking out. So in a circuit like that, I’m not too sure what the solution is. But we need to find a better compromise, for sure.

George Russell and Carlos Sainz want solutions from FIA on the pitlane problem, and considering how dangerous some of the situations have been this year, it is certainly the need of the hour to prevent something unfortunate from happening in the future.

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Rishabh Negi is an F1 author at FirstSportz who ardently follows Formula One and is also a passionate supporter of the Arsenal football team. He has done his Master's degree from the Delhi School of Economics and sees writing about F1, as something, that provides him solace to disconnect from the everyday chaos of life.