Ferrari has revealed that its controversial 'traffic lights' pit-stop system – one that arguably cost Felipe Massa the 2008 Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship – is set to return this year.
The contentious automated procedure – which uses sensors and buttons to display lights to the drivers during pit visits, rather than the traditional 'lollipop' approach – was ditched following the Singapore Grand Prix last season, when Massa dragged the refuelling hose all the way down the pit-lane with him after a 'human error' had seen a mechanic erroneously press the button for the 27-year-old to go before the refueller had finished [see separate story – click here
The system had first run into problems during the European Grand Prix in Valencia a month earlier when Massa was released directly into the path of the Force India of Adrian Sutil during his second pit-stop, earning the Brazilian a €10,000 fine for what was deemed by race stewards to have been an 'unsafe' incident.
The mistakes prompted F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to claim that 'if Massa loses the world championship, he will know the team were responsible'.
Now, however, the 'traffic lights' are set for a reprieve, with the Scuderia's
technical director Luca Baldisserri telling Italian newspaper La Stampa
: “We have analysed the errors of 2008 and improved the system.
“Now an electronic programme will prevent the car from leaving the 'box when the fuel hose is attached.”