Carlos Sainz has called for a review of F1 pit lane sizes and warns that there is "going to be an accident" unless the issue is addressed. The Ferrari driver believes that the FIA and Formula 1 must make changes to increase the size of the smallest pit lanes to prevent an injury to a mechanic. Following a lengthy 12.7s pit stop at the Dutch GP, Sainz felt he was harshly punished for an unsafe pit release after he was released into the path of Alpine's Fernando Alonso. However, Sainz defended his actions, and explained that he delayed his pit exit to avoid a McLaren mechanic in the next pit bay. To make matters worse, Red Bull's Sergio Perez drove over one of the Ferrari wheel guns whilst pitting on the same lap, highlighting the tight confines of the pit lane.
Sainz: F1 & FIA must make changes, not the teams
Speaking ahead of the Singapore GP, the Spanish driver defended Ferrari's pit stops and called on F1's higher authorities to do more to tackle the pit stop injury risks. "For me, it's not the pit crews or the F1 teams that really need to make changes, it's the FIA and Formula One organization," Sainz insisted to media, including RacingNews365.com . "I've said it once and I'll say it again; one day there's going to be an accident and one day there's going to be a human involved, because of how tight everything is when there's a safety car, and we're all pitting at the same time. "Like in Budapest one year ago when we pitted on the formation lap, in Zandvoort when the safety car came out it was chaos, and we need to find a solution because I feel like we are putting someone's health at risk."
Sainz suggests pit lane homologation changes
Owing to the range of locations that host F1 races, there is a wide variety of pit lane sizes on the calendar. For example, the smaller historical infrastructure of the Monaco GP means that it is one of the venues with a smaller pit lane. Every F1 circuit on the calendar must adhere to certain safety criteria set by the FIA to be homologated, and Sainz believes that a mandatory increase in pit lane size would solve the safety issue. "If in order to get homologated we need a wider and longer pit lane to have space in between cars, we need to make sure that happens," added Sainz. "I know logistically and technically is not easy for these circuits, but I was in a pretty scary situation in Zandvoort, and it could happen anytime soon. "It's something that is a matter that we need to raise." F1 has previously suffered from pit lane drama at the Nurburgring a few years back, when a cameraman was knocked over by an errant wheel from Mark Webber's car.