The “traffic light” system used by the Maranello-based team caused one of the major incidents in Formula 1 in 2008. During the Singaporean race, Felipe Massa saw the green light and took off from the pits, but the mechanics had failed to pull out the fuel hose in time. The Brazilian therefore left the pits with the fuel hose still attached to his car, a mistake that would eventually ruin his race.
Ferrari have then proceeded to changing the pit stop system for the remaining 3 races of the season, taking the traditional “lollipop” approach.
However, as confirmed by team manager Luca Baldisserri in the off-season, Ferrari have been working on developing the traffic-light system in time for the 2009 Australian Grand Prix. Apparently, the new system will electronically prevent the car from leaving the pits before the fuel hose would have been detached.
According to some reports, it seems the Scuderia have already tested the revised system during their Bahrain group test last week. However, the team did not confirm nor deny the news. All we know for sure is that both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa have done several race simulation through the second week of testing at Sakhir – as the first week was heavily affected by sandstorms.
Apart from Ferrari, Honda was also considering introducing a newly-developed traffic-light system for their 2009 campaign. However, following the latest reports from the Japanese manufacturer, the Brackley-based team is likely to miss the F1 grid next year due to lack of “serious” interest from potential buyers.