Cameraman hit by loose wheel in pitlane

A cameraman was struck by a wheel which came off Mark Webber's car on Sunday.

Scuderia Ferrari technicians handle a wet Formula 1 Pirelli tyre at a Grand Prix. Picture: AFP

NUERBURGRING - A television cameraman was struck by a wheel which came off Mark Webber's car during a pitstop in the early stages of the German Grand Prix on Sunday.

Formula One safety has been in the headlines since multiple tyre blow-outs at last weekend's British Grand Prix raised fears about drivers being hit by flying debris, and Sunday's incident will fuel concern about pitlane dangers.

Red Bull driver Webber came into the pits for a routine tyre change after nine laps but his crew took longer than usual because of a problem with the rear right tyre.

The Australian was released without the wheel being secured properly. It broke free and bounced into the oblivious cameraman, knocking him flat on his back.

There was no official word on his condition but BBC radio reported he had some chest pain and concussion.

Webber was ordered to turn off his engine and the wheel was reattached, allowing the driver to rejoin the race near the back of the field.

Supplier Pirelli have brought different tyres, with an inner ring of synthetic fibre Kevlar rather than steel, to Germany after the controversial blow-outs at Silverstone. There were no failures in practice or qualifying.