Arrivabene explains Bahrain pitstop accident as Ferrari review procedures


Scuderia Ferrari Pitstop Practice
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari, revealed it was “three factors” that led to the unsafe release of Kimi Raikkonen and injury to pit crew member Francesco Cigarini in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Raikkonen pitted on lap thirty-seven of the race to swap his Soft tyres for Super-Softs. Whilst three tyres were successfully changed there was an issue with the rear-left tyre, preventing Cigarini from removing the old tyre and fitting a new one. With Cigarini still stood in front of the old, un-changed tyre, the light telling Raikkonen to go then turned green.¬†Raikkonen ran over Cigarini’s leg, breaking it in two places.

Ferrari, together with the FIA, have completed an investigation into what caused the light to turn green, and concluded that it was three things that went wrong. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Arrivabene explained more about the incident.

“The team was hurt that a person was injured, so it was in our interest to review the overall procedure.

“We have a procedure to ensure the pitstops during the race are done as safely as possible.

“In this case we have three factors: human control [the pit crew members], mechanical [the wheel gun] and an electronic device [a sensor to determine a properly attached wheel].”

The system Ferrari uses checks to see whether a wheel gun has been active and whether all four wheels are safely attached. As the wheel gun had been active, and all four wheels were safely attached, the light changed – despite one wheel not having been removed.

Speaking after the investigation, Arrivabene wanted to make sure it wouldn’t happen again, saying, “It’s in our interest, because we care about our people before anything else.”

He also took the time to thank the medical staff involved in the incident, saying Cigarini was looked after by the best doctors possible.

“I would like to thank our team doctor, the FIA medical staff and also the authority of Bahrain that granted to us immediately the best doctor in Bahrain to do the surgery. They were assisting us 24 hours [a day], literally, so thanks to all of them.”