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Spanish Grand Prix 2013: Cockpit lights back in action
12 May 2013
The FIA has told teams in Barcelona that the electronic marshalling system providing in-car cockpit warning lights and information to the drivers is finally back in action for Spain.
The system displays lights in the cockpit to tell drivers about warning flags being used out on the track, and also controls whether cars can use their DRS systems which are supposed to be disabled when yellow flags are being waved out on the circuit.
The system has been sidelined since the start of the 2013 season because of glitches leading to reliability issues with a new system provided by Riedel, which took over the contract to run the service at F1 events from previous incumbents EM.
But today the FIA assured teams that the problems with the system had been addressed and that they were now confident that it was fit for purpose. Accordingly, it will be used in full at the Circuit de Catalunya for the first time this season, with the only exception being the automatic imposition of blue flags to slow back markers running ahead of the leaders.
The statement from the FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting stated: "We are now confident that the marshalling system will function as originally expected. I would therefore like to confirm the following.
"One, the red, yellow and blue cockpit lights will be operational.
"Two, at the start of the race DRS will be enabled once all cars have crossed the Line to complete two laps.
"Three, there will still be no automatic blue flag messages on the Official Messaging System. Two and three second early alert indicators will however be available in race control and messages will be sent to the Official Messaging System accordingly, it will remain important that teams do their best to ensure their drivers respect blue flags.
"Four, if the safety car is deployed Safety Car Mode will be automatically enabled on all cars and the drivers will then have to adhere to the time displayed on their dash.
"Five, if the safety car is deployed a message saying 'DRS DISABLED' will be displayed and the systems on all cars will be disabled. The systems will be re-enabled automatically on each car as it crosses the Line for the third time after the Safety Car returns to the pits.
"Six, if yellow flags or lights are displayed in a DRS activation zone a message saying 'DRS DISABLED' will be displayed and the systems on all cars will be disabled. When the track is clear a message saying 'DRS ENABLED' will be displayed and the systems will be enabled.
"Seven, in conditions of poor visibility a message saying 'DRS DISABLED' may be displayed and the systems on all cars will be disabled."
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