Honda Tests New Traffic-Light Pitstop System for 2009

You would think that F1 teams have put to sleep all plans regarding a new traffic light pit-stop system after what happened to Ferrari's Felipe Massa in Singapore. Well, think again! As soon as the Scuderia announced plans to go back to the lollipop system for the remaining three races of the season, Honda did the exact opposite and started testing a similar concept right before the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend.

Ross Brown initially tested the new system during Thursday's pit practice at Mount Fuji, but there are few chances of it being implemented this season. Unlike their Ferrari counterparts, the Honda technicians are very anxious to use this automatically-controlled device and will continue to test it throughout the winter so it will be functional by the start of the upcoming season.

Nevertheless, in order to prevent a situation similar to Ferrari's in Singapore, the system used by Honda is allegedly set to give the driver the go ahead after the fuel hose is removed from the car regardless of the buttons a mechanic might accidentally touch during the refueling process.

Ferrari were the first team in the paddock to switch to a traffic light pitstop system earlier this year (at Valencia) but were forced to go back to the lollipop man due to the Singapore incident. Felipe Massa then entered the pits for his first refueling and was accidentally given the go-ahead with the fuel hose still attached to his car. The system was triggered by one of the Ferrari mechanics as it was set on a manual mode.

Despite ditching the light system for the remaining 3 races of the season, Ferrari are likely to reintroduce it 2009 after further evaluations during the winter. Now with Honda going the same way, there's a slight chance of witnessing a new Formula 1 trend for the upcoming seasons.

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