Ferrari using pit lights again in 2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari will use their infamous pit stop traffic lights once again in 2010.

The lights, which were blamed for Felipe Massa’s botched pit stop at Singapore in 2008, are being reintroduced an effort to speed up their pit stops.

The team said:

The team has developed a new ??traffic light?? system, more sophisticated and safer than the one used previously. Therefore this is an additional option for releasing a driver back into the race.

Massa’s early exit from the pits with his refuelling hose still attached cost him a potential win at Singapore and could have changed the outcome of the championship. Ferrari suspended use of the lights after the blunder and brought back a traditional lollipop.

Like Renault, Ferrari are also using special wheel nuts to speed up their tyre changes, which are expected to take less than three seconds in 2010 now that in-race refuelling has been banned.

Pit stops in 2010

79 comments on “Ferrari using pit lights again in 2010”

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  1. DamionShadows
    10th March 2010, 17:29

    Hey Keith, you should have included a poll asking “How many people will Ferrari run over this season?”

  2. Last year, drivers could watch their mirrors in a pitstop.This year, they can’t even blink.

    1. There are probably going to be some incidents in the pits.
      Rookie drivers, short pitstop times and even more side-pod mirrors making it hard to see anything.

  3. I think I saw something like the ferrari system at Mercedes GP during testing. Brawn is the guy to get this working though (especially with Schumacher in the car).

  4. Really. What’s the point of this. Who makes these decisions. Probably 0.1 sec at best with the threat of the whole race going to pot.

    Ross Brawn wouldn’t have stood for this!

  5. This isn’t even news. Its almost the season opener and this is what we’re discussing Keith?
    Ferrari hatred is weakness. Support your team and get on with it.
    As far as safety goes, the lights do make sense because its one less body that could get hurt. Releasing the driver early could happen (and has) regardless of where that decision maker is (in front of the car or next to it). … this being the case; shut up about the traffic light already. boo-hoo with tea and scrumpets or what have you.

    1. I’d agree with you, had it not been for the system costing Massa the championship in 2008.

      So yes, I think worthy of a news post.

    2. No one forces anyone to read EVERYTHING on this site.

      you’re not interested, don’t read it, don’t post.

      Keith does an excellent job of providing for his core audience, which is F1 FANATICS, not people interested in just cars crashing and drivers going fast.

      And given the history of this piece of “technology”, I think its re-introduction is certainly newsworthy for this audience.

      Get off it.

      Love your work Keith.

      1. For starters GB, where in any thread have I ever said that I just want fast drivers to crash? To the contrary, I have posted primarily in the interest of safety. I will assume that’s what you intended. psshhh.

        As far as Keith’s work goes, I find it to be highly engaging and quality; in short, I appreciate him. This does not mean that I have to nod in agreement over every little thing. No writer wants all claps and no critique- knowing several myself I know this to be the case.
        My point was that this is the eleventh hour and I find it comes at an odd time. I also find it spurious; especially after the Ferrari/new team debacle. There is no reason to make Ferrari look worse than they already do themselves. My suggestion would be that instead of an article about Ferrari’s legal light system that is in its development phases, (and my end up replacing all lollipops) why not an article about these new wheel nuts that are supposed to speed up pitstops? …Maybe even with pictures! There are many other things that I would rather discuss now we are down to a few days. The lights should have come up a month or so ago.

    3. I haven’t got anything against Ferrari.

      They’re going back to a system which has failed them in the past. It’s a story.

      1. The lollipop has never failed them?

      2. ah, you do a little =)! Okay, its a story, but it feels more like an attack.

  6. They should do away with lollipops and lights, and have a policeman directing traffic in the pitlane. They usually make a good job of that !

  7. Their is always the danger that a driver will incorrectly predict the timing of the green light. After several practice runs that go well, any driver will instinctively try to anticipate the light sequence timing. Imagine that you are at a set of traffic lights that are at red, then go to red-amber, but then take an age to go to green. Where will you be before they go green?

  8. With all the If’s, But’s and Maybe’s in this Thread, maybe Ferrari should have an orange light…meaning “be prepared to stop or go, we’re not sure, wish I had a lollipop…or an ice cream…where did they disappear to? Ah, thats right, Kimi took them..Oh, yeah, go when you like, I don’t know anything!!!”

    The only way this works better than human intervention is if it is an automated system that knows all 4 wheels are on and tightened, the jacks are clear of the car and there is no traffic approaching…bit far fetched, but this is F1, so hey, maybe they’ve got exactly that.???

  9. LordHesketh
    11th March 2010, 6:04

    Right here is a glaring difference between Massa and Schumacher. What would Michael have said if Ferrari were going to bring back a system that cost him a world title? He would have vetoed it in a heartbeat. Flex your muscle, Felipe. What a twerp.

  10. From reading this it looks like Ferrari may not be the only ones using traffic lights thus year:

    Other teams have gone for a fully automated traffic light system

  11. Reading that it sound like a real team sport,(something like curling, where there are different roles, but all important ;-)) special trainers etc. for the pit crew.

    Maybe FOM should have some pit crew tournament during the thursday or on sunday morning. Do it in a place where the public can watch. With the best team getting some prize money (welcome for all cars without sponsorship) and maybe a medal.

  12. People point out how Ferrari sent Massa on his way with the fuel hose still attached. Did you guys miss Kovalainen doing exactly the same at Interlagos last season?

    If done correctly, a (semi) automated light system could be better than a lollipop guy.

    One guy holds a button down when traffic is coming in the fast lane. Then for each wheel you have a sensor that determines if the wheel is on ok (instead of sticking your hand up, you press a button). If all 5 say it’s ok then the light goes green.

    That should be a lot safer than one guy trying to oversee all 5 inputs at the same time and inevitably missing one now and then.

  13. Frankly, I don’t see why this system should make the pitstops any more dangerous than they already are. As for the the dilemma of clean releases they could easily incorporate a number of solutions into the system. For example;

    The automated signal instructs the light to turn GREEN when all four wheels are safely grounded.

    However to cover against the danger of oncoming traffic, human judgement is essential.

    For this purpose, a mechanic could be positioned where the lollipop man originally stood. He would operate a button which overrides the automated signal to display RED for the entire duration that it is pressed.

    This guy would hence have no other role than to observe the relative position of rival cars in the pitlane, and hold down a button till it is safe to release the car.

  14. I understood, that this is just what some of the teams plan on doing (i think in the article by FI).

  15. If first you don’t succeed…

    I believe Honda had a traffic light system too – but never used in a race. The idea was for safety, it would immobilise the car.

  16. Is this necessary when teams are looking at cost cutting…

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