Ferrari using pit lights again in 2010

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

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79 comments on Ferrari using pit lights again in 2010

  1. BasCB said on 11th March 2010, 10:16

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Prateek said on 11th March 2010, 12:52

    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.

  4. BasCB said on 11th March 2010, 16:13

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

  5. benno said on 12th March 2010, 9:36

    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.

  6. Chaz said on 22nd March 2010, 16:16

    Is this necessary when teams are looking at cost cutting…

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