Felipe Massa’s pit lane disaster (video)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari suffered a disastrous problem during a pit stop for the second race this year. Felipe Massa was signalled to leave his pit box while the refuelling rig was stil attached to his car.

The F2008 wrenched the fuel hose from the refuelling rig and Massa joined the fast lane of the pits in front of Adrian Sutil with several metres of hose hanging out of his car.

Ironically, it was Sutil that Massa controversially pulled out in front of during the European Grand Prix at Valencia.

In today’s incident Massa had to stop at the end of the pit lane where his mechanics ran to him and, with some difficulty, removed the hose. He rejoined last and was later given a drive through penalty.

Ferrari had been using their semi-automatic lights system for releasing drivers from the pits, which was the focus of discussion after the Valencia race. When Massa made his second stop Ferrari used a traditional lollipop to release him.

Did they make a mistake by not using that to begin with? And will they stick to it in future?

52 comments on “Felipe Massa’s pit lane disaster (video)”

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  1. Just looked at the video again and the look on Massa’s face as the pit crew struggle with the hose is priceless. Anger, disbelief, weariness, all combined in one little frustrated face.

  2. I must admit, regardless of me being a Ferrari fan, I was a little confused as to why Massa didn’t get some kind of penalty for causing an avoidable accident with Sutil.

    It did appear to be pretty avoidable, had he waited for Sutil to go by…

    Complete disaster for Ferrari though, which could in turn loose them both titles.

  3. You have to feel sorry for Massa, it’s not his fault. But, this is a team game and I remember the Mansell \ Williams pit stops that had me shouting at the TV.

    So the stewards deemed that this was a “Unsafe release from a pit stop” and gave Massa a drive through penalty. Surely this time he did not gain any advantage? In fact he had even less of an advantage gained than he did (or did not really) in Valencia as he had to wait for the “Keystone Cops” to run down and pull the refuelling hose clear?

    So it’s another FIA inconsistency to have given Massa a drive through penalty too. F1 seriously needs a better stewarding system to get more “consistent” rulings.
    Then again this was like Kimi and Massa’s Valencia pitstops all rolled into one. Knock over a mechanic and drive into the path of Sutil + deposit some fuel down the pitlane for good measure.

    As World Champions from the previous season, Ferrari get the pick of the pit boxes. I was wondering what would have happened if they picked the end pit box instead of the first pit box. Would Massa have been blacked flagged for driving with a fuel hose around the track?
    Then again, having the end pit box under a potential safety car circuit gives you better chance that you won’t be released in-front of another car when you pit.

    Well done to Alonso and Nico. Great driving. I also was wondering how long it took to give the drive through penalties. It’s not hard for the stewards to have worked that issue out is it:
    Pit closed – Team putting refuelling nossle on their car – Make note to give penalty when safety car comes in. Easy!

    Massa’s penalty would have been a bit more to work out, for the stewards, as they needed to find a whole new and unique ruling so they don’t tally up with any other previous ruling and keep us lot all bemused with the result. :D

  4. It the f1 season of Ferrari drivers having a go at Sutil. Poor Adrian, he can be rammed from behind by the Iceman, he can be forced into the barrier by Massa the spinner in front, he can most definitely be interfered with in the pitlane. I wonder when he can’t take it no more and ram one back? Maybe he did in Montreal…

  5. FIA is very inconsistent. Especially when Ferrari is involved. Why did the NOW get a drive through for unsafe release, but a couple of weeks ago only a Fine? Is it because Massa was out of the points already? What about Alonso cutting cicane? And then also Massa and Sutil… What would have happened if this was McLaren?

  6. I’m a Hamilton supporter (not fanatic, I feel very well reckoning the times he does a mess, and that he could be a little bit less presumptuous, too. Note that, despite its name, I feel this blog is much more on the side of objectiveness than the Spanish and Italian sources I also visit. But, after all, the name is F1Fanatic, not LHFanatic or something like this…)
    Having said that I follow Lewis, I can add that I felt really sorry for poor Massa when his engine blew up at the final stages of Hungary. Not this time! I don’t know if it’s right feeling this way, but after Spa I just cannot feel any sympathy about Ferrari’s men. And I also agree with Keith that there is not any sense of “justice” in it: justice would be Lewis leading by 13 points…

  7. Coming out the pits 0.1 seconds faster then other teams isn’t going to win them the championship but cock ups with the system, like Valencia and Singapore, will lose them the championship.

    My favourite bit was when the Ferrari mechanics had the fuel rig on there shoulders looking like they were recreating a scene from cool runnings!! :P

  8. As a McLaren fan I can only remember Lewis having a 17 point lead with two races to go last year. His current 7 point lead is far from insurmountable.

    I look forward to the challenge that Ferrari will bring in the last 3 races. I would dearly love to see the championships decided on track and not by events in the pits….or the Ferrari Intervention Association.

    I know that Ferrari will bring a rejuvenated pit crew performance for the last 3, without the comic opera we saw yesterday.

  9. LOL, I agree with Nick! Loved it! I can still smile when I think of the race. Notice how the 2 Ferrari guys without the helmets were the first ones to finish the distance by a big margin.

    Had FIA decided to penalise Ferrari at Varlencia/Ferrari mechanics knew that they had to look at the coming cars before release, that wouldn’t have happend. Great decision form FIA, hehehe.

  10. Yes but now they got the penalty when it didnt matter.. They should have received the same penalty in Valencia.

    Anyway looking at the footage again makes me laugh all over.. Shame the poor guys.. Not used to 400 meter sprint are they..

  11. Yes indeed, I wonder whether Ferrari will get a penalty if they had removed the fuel hose just in time.

    What I meant was, if Ferrari waited for the coming car/Sutil to get by, they’d probably had the time to remove the fuel hose. But since FIA decided that Ferrari can release their cars anytime they want, that’s what they got, I love it!

  12. There is a pin in the nozzle of the rig system that hind the green light to show up when they use de “automatic mode: on” when it is still connected to the car.

    The mechanical chief viewed that Sutil was coming, and that the rig was still connected. He push the button thinking that the green light would show up only when the rig was tacked off.

    His mistake was that he forgot that the “automatic mode:off”
    (This is a hipothesis based on what Domenicalli have said)

    The system for sure will be improved, and even when it is not in the automatic mode, it will not allowed the green light to show up.

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