Haas boss Guenther Steiner: F1 pit stops need element of risk

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SHANGHAI, China -- Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has warned Formula One against making changes to pit stop procedures after a Ferrari mechanic was injured during a tyre change at last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Francesco Cigarini suffered a broken leg in two places after he was run over during a botched pit stop on Kimi Raikkonen's car. The car was released before the left rear tyre had been changed and Cigarini, whose job was to put the new tyre on, was unaware that Raikkonen had been given the green light to leave his pit box.

The FIA and Ferrari have investigated the incident while some in the paddock have called for changes to pit stops, such as reducing the amount of mechanics involved in changing four tyres. Haas suffered a double retirement in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after tyres were not fitted correctly during two separate pit stops, but team boss Steiner does not think the mistakes are enough to bring about change.

"For our pit stop -- OK for us it didn't make it interesting -- but it gives the race another element of risk and an element of interest," he said. "If you make everything 100 percent safe, why the hell do we watch F1 racing?

"We need to have this, where a human being can make a mistake. It happened to us and I'm not happy about it but in general we need some risk taking. If you make everything automatic and put robots there and we do it, they'll be no problem, but who is going to watch us?

"When it gets dangerous like the Ferrari one it needs to be investigated but I don't think one has to do with the other one."

Steiner said F1 should avoid knee-jerk reactions and believes the sport has already made good steps to avoid wheels coming loose after a camera man was hit by a runaway tyre in the pit lane at the 2013 German Grand Prix.

"I'm not saying that we should put people in danger, but how many years since we had the last injured man? It's a dangerous sport, it can happen. Playing football sometimes somebody breaks their leg. Again, I feel sorry about the guy [Cigarini] and I think it shouldn't happen but it happened and we cannot make it right anyway. But all the other incidents with our ones, the system that was their for safety, we know that the wheel didn't come off because that is the danger with a loose wheel when it flies off and hits somebody like years ago it did in the pitlane [in 2013].

"The system worked so why would you change it? Who pays the consequence? The people who sit at home, nobody else. I wouldn't rush to a knee-jerk reaction after what happened. It was our fault, we paid the price for it and on we move. Nobody was hurt in our instance and it's part of F1. If you do something wrong you get penalised."

Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix U.S. coverage presented by Mothers Polish (All times Eastern)

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