Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella both missed out on the chance to record decent points hauls in the Canadian Grand Prix after committing the cardinal sin of leaving the pit-lane under a red light.

In a scenario similar to that which saw Juan Pablo Montoya disqualified from the same race in 2005, the pair missed the signal requiring them to wait until on-track traffic had passed the pit-lane exit, filtering back into the pack as it filed past under one of the numerous safety car periods that blighted the race.

Massa, who is providing the chief opposition to McLaren both on track and in the championship, held up his hand and admitted that the error was his.

"What happened at the pit-stop is a real shame," Massa, who had led briefly before making his first stop for fuel and tyres, "Even if the safety car didn't help me I was having a good race and I could have brought home some important points for the championship.

"Unfortunately, when I left the pits, I did not even look at the lights, partly because there were so many cars in pit-lane behind me. It's true that today McLaren was very strong, but this was not the result we should have had. We should have been able to finish on the podium."

Fisichella, something of a Montreal expert, was right behind Massa as the pair exited the pits, and also reckoned that he could have reached the podium in what turned out to be a race of attrition. Instead, after a lengthy period of deliberation, the stewards handed both drivers instant black flag disqualification.

"I was having a great race, but it ended up being a bad day for me," Fisichella said, "The podium was within my reach, and it's so frustrating to miss out on a golden opportunity. Coming out of the pits, I was concentrating on Kubica, who was alongside me, and was so focused on beating him that I didn't see the red light."

Renault's director of engineering, Pat Symonds, admitted that he could understand Fisichella's error.

"We are extremely disappointed that Giancarlo lost a likely third place through a simple mistake that, to be honest, anybody can make in the heat of the moment," he said, "Giancarlo's first instinct is to race, and his concentration at the pit exit was on racing Kubica. Under those circumstances, it is easy to miss the light."

 

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