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Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 13:52 UK

Ferrari revert to old pit system

Felipe Massa accelerates away from the Ferrari pit in Singapore
Ferrari's light system caused chaos at the Singapore Grand Prix

Ferrari will revert to a traditional pit-stop strategy at Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix after their 'traffic-light' system caused problems in Singapore.

Ferrari's title contender Felipe Massa lost victory in the last race when he got a green light to exit the pits when his fuel hose was still attached.

The system usually works automatically but was on a manual setting.

"We need to stay calm so we've decided to go back to the old system," said team boss Stefano Domenicali.

The traditional system, used by all the other teams, involves a device known as a lollipop to tell the driver when to accelerate away from the pits.

A mechanic holds a pole with a circular sign on the end - giving it the shape of a lollipop - in front of the car while it is being worked on. He flips it over to show the word go and lifts it up when the stop for fuel and tyres is finished.

Ferrari have been using a light system, which uses red, amber and green lights, and which is programmed to go green as soon as the refuelling hose is detached from the car.

606: DEBATE
Vigneronne

It can be switched to a manual operation if necessary - which Ferrari decided to do in Singapore because a large number of cars were pitting at the same time following a safety car.

They wanted to avoid the risk of a penalty for releasing Massa dangerously into the path of another car.

But the man operating the system pressed the go button too soon and Massa's car tore the refuelling pipe away from the rig and the Brazilian knocked over two mechanics as he pulled away.

The pipe trailed him all the way to the end of the pits, where he stopped and waited for it to be removed.

The incident relegated him to the back of the field and he finished out of the points in 13th place, while title rival Lewis Hamilton finished third in his McLaren.

The Englishman has a seven-point lead heading to Fuji this weekend, with a maximum of 30 still available in the remaining three races.

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see also
Kubica and Heidfeld stay with BMW
06 Oct 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton sees benefits of caution
06 Oct 08 |  Formula One
Williams retain drivers for 2009
02 Oct 08 |  Formula One
Ferrari furious over Singapore GP
30 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton happy as F1 nears climax
29 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Alonso wins as Hamilton prospers
28 Sep 08 |  Formula One


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