F1 » Mercedes fined after Schumacher pit-stop gaffe

Stewards fine Mercedes for unsafe release from pitstop

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April 16, 2012 8:04 AM

The FIA should introduce a minimum stationary time for Pit Stops of 5 seconds. This would make it safer. The automated green light system obviously has problems and if this is the case then it could cause havoc. Bring back the lollipop man !!!


April 16, 2012 10:40 AM

mike. i think that it was last year, or was it late 2010, when ferrari introduced the lights. after one botched release, there were calls for immediate banning of the lights, as being unsafe. funny how all the top teams are now using the system.


April 16, 2012 11:23 AM

Richard, Yes I remember when Ferrari tried and abandoned this idea. As far as I know this system works on detecting the removal of the wheel-gun from the nut. All four done equals green light and go. Now in this case the wheel-gun would not work properly so the mechanic had to reach for the spare but on removing it it said go to the lights ... comedy of errors. The Ferrari effort at least had a button for the wheel man to push when he was finished. This system is a complete joke as the wheel man knew that there was a problem but he could not stop it.

RMedia - Unregistered

April 16, 2012 11:39 AM

Fact is whenever there are humans involved and especially under pressure there will always be mistakes be it driver error, lolly pop man, man pressing a button etc... even JB when into the wrong box last year... So what? punish someone every time he or she makes a genuine mistake? Yes of course, these days someone HAVE TO BE ACCOUNTABLE... they better change jobs and all become politicians and get a teflon jacket too...

Only way is to eliminate the human error bit... else there will always be a mistake waiting to happen... it's life.


April 16, 2012 12:36 PM

Yes RMedia, you're right about human error. But this wasn't human error - it is an automated system without human input. The human intervention can only come after the car was released, which is what didn't appear to happen this time.


April 16, 2012 5:24 PM

Richard, yes it was FERRARI the first to introduce lights in pit stops but now a day everybody is using them and done with the lollypop man,
Rob, sometimes I wonder if some posters on here really know what they are talking about “FLYMO, responsibility for car release by lollipop guy!!!”.
RMEDIA, be assured there would not be any court cases re the FIA fining teams when and if a team breaches the FIA rules “it is the responsibility of the team to release their car after a pit stop only when it is safe to do so”.
Lights/ wheel guns/ and what not Mercedes have Matt Deane, the chief mechanic controlling the pit stops, the front jack “man” is the actual last man that releases the car, the Mercedes wheel nut is incorporated into the wheel rim (captive with the wheel), the wheel gun socket is magnetic to the wheel nut, it is reputed that Mercedes spend upper of 400k on their swivel front jack alone.


April 16, 2012 6:03 PM

Buck, there is a lot of “automated” in the pit stop system but the car release is now a day finally done by the front jack man, the four wheel guns are hooked to the lights, the rear jack has lights for both rear guns, the front jack has lights for both front and rear guns and that's why it's the front jack that finally release the car, in the days of refuelling and before FERRARRI introduced the lights connected (controlled) by the withdrawal of the fuel nozzle, the wheels would have been done much before the refuelling was finished, so the rear jack used to keep the car wheels of the ground and release the car when the fuel nozzle was pulled off.


April 16, 2012 8:06 PM

OK, I stand corrected. I had assumed there was a manual overide to anything automated, but I believe the Ferrari system also had this, but it was no use when Massa dragged half his fuel rig down the Singapore pit lane.

Yalveh - Unregistered

April 18, 2012 7:26 PM

Is it me or is Schumacher getting incredibly unlucky? First race he was in 3rd before losing his gearbox. Next he got hit from behind as soon as the race started. And now his pitstop messed up?

Schumacher has been racing so well and has deserved the podium on more than one occasion so far, hopefully he'll finally get some well deserved points or hopefully a podium or win in Bahrain this sunday.

Kudos to his very calm and cool attitude.

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