Felipe Massa’s pit lane disaster (video)

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?

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

  1. mail123456 said on 28th September 2008, 21:45

    @Jonathan Weighell – May be this will breach 6.5.1 of technical regulations?

  2. Spencer said on 28th September 2008, 22:44

    A fantastic race but lots more FIA inconsistancies.

    1 Why did Massa get a drive through. Should it not have been a 10,000 euro fine?

    2 Did Fernando not cut the chicane to gain a place on Button at the start.

    3 As the race finished several hours ago, why hasn’t Alonso had the victory ripped from his grasp by some part time official


    ps. Don’t they normally race in the day time???

  3. @Jonathan Weighell.

    I noticed that too…but only after the accident. Perhaps the problem was, to note it, before the accident.

    Ironically that accident now showed a defenitive advantage of the eletronic system, if they use a nozzle sensor, over the conventional Lollipop.

  4. Senor Paz said on 29th September 2008, 4:19

    As a Ferrari fan, this is just a disgrace. Ferrari’s incompetence this season has cost Felipe over 30 points already (mechanic unreliabilty in Australia and Hungary, plus pathetic teamwork messups in Canada and Singapore. Felipe would have won the last three) and it doesn’t look like it’ll stop. Oh, not to mention Kimi.

  5. Senor Paz said on 29th September 2008, 4:20

    Congrats to all the Lucky Lewis fans out there.

  6. I’m glad that Ferrari had such a terrible day, but i am not happy because people got hurt because of that.
    People are saying that Hamilton is arogant but in the last couple of races Massa is even more arogant allong with ferrari. I really hope that Mclaren and Hamilton get the championships

  7. I’m beginning to think that Sutil has upset Massa in a previous life – since they had two ‘incidents’ in the same race, the first in the pit lane and the second later in the race when Massa lost concentration.
    Perhaps we will see VJ writing to the FIA to investigate all these attempts to stop his driver from finishing a race?

  8. I agree with Saab #14: how come a safe refuelling stop under the safety car gets a harsher penalty than dangerously being released into the path of another car with half your refuelling rig still attached?

    I saw that Massa said he had “forgiven” his pit crew for the error. And they say Hamilton is conceited?

    It seemed Massa had another Silverstone race today. He totally gave up at the back. He may as well have just pulled up and gone to bed. Hardly the mark of a possible world champion.

  9. I agree with DG @36, it did look like Massa precipitated the accident which saw Sutil go out, by driving out of the barrier right across the front of him, leaving him unable to turn in and with no place to go but straight on into the barriers. Any other team and driver might have incurred a grid place penalty for the next race. So a 10,000 Euro fine then and the blame on Sutil, who must have somehow caused Massa to go off in the first place. From 200 yards back.

  10. S Hughes said on 29th September 2008, 11:12

    Sumedh, no. 23, I have to agree with you on this one. I can’t stop chuckling about it – it was like the Keystone cops, a real slapstick treat. And apparently the McLaren crew were cheering them on too (we will miss Ted Kravitz, Hell all the ITV team next year) which makes it even funnier. This will make me laugh for quite some time – a real comedy moment. It could make it onto one of those ‘People do the funniest things’ programmes. Those men really need to do some exercise in case this happens again.

  11. S Hughes said on 29th September 2008, 11:18

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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?

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