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F1 - Hakkinen backs pitstop incident investigation

"Considering how important safety is in F1..."

12 April 2018 - 14h08, by GMM 

Mika Hakkinen has backed the investigation into the sort of pitstop incidents seen so far in 2018.

In Australia, both Haas cars were released from the pits with loose wheels, and in Bahrain a Ferrari mechanic’s leg was badly broken in a sickening incident.

Hakkinen, the 1998 and 1999 world champion, said the speed of the sub-3 second pitstops seen today means the risks are high.

"No one should underestimate the challenge faced by the pit crew mechanics," the Finn told his Unibet column.

Hakkinen said F1 has changed since his day, with automatic ’traffic light’ systems now in the place of the traditional ’lollipop man’.

"Considering how important safety is in F1, including the introduction of the Halo this year, it is important for the teams and the FIA to look again at the pitstops," he said.

Following Bahrain, top official Charlie Whiting has said the FIA will look closely into the recent incidents.

Hakkinen said of pitstops: "They are a really important part of the spectacle, so I would not want to see that disappear, but maybe the time has come to consider whether the automated systems are the right way to go.

"When you have people’s lives at stake, maybe humans should be making the final decision."

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