The Ferrari light system has garnered some interesting comments from various Formula One insiders this week, and while some are for and some are against, the Scuderia has decided to revert to the traditional lollipop system for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. The team also mentioned that under normal circumstances, the lights should automatically change when the fuel nozzle is released from the car, although the squad opted for a manual system in Singapore. Needless to say, it still didn’t work properly.
Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa have both suffered embarrassment from the system Ferrari have adopted, but essentially, there is little reason why it should not work as well as a lollipop. I do not understand why the use of the technology has incurred so many people to voice either praise or condemnation of it.
At the end of the day, if Ferrari’s lights are manually controlled by a human being in full view of the pitlane, the refueller and the tyre-changers, then there is no reason why the light should be changed early. Which is a nigh-on identical setup to a man standing garage-side of the car with a big stick. The driver is still given the indication to go by a person. The indication is a visible object in front of his face, be it lights or a lollipop. Under these conditions, both systems rely on human decision.
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali said that he wanted some “tranquility” within the team after the issues at Singapore, and from that one can presume he means a hassle-free race at Fuji this weekend. The team’s position in the constructor’s title is under serious threat with McLaren just edging ahead by a point after Lewis Hamilton’s third place at the night race two weeks ago. And if Felipe Massa is to have any chance of challenging Hamilton for the driver’s title, then Ferrari need to iron out the kinks in their pitstops.