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Monday, October 6, 2008

Mistake in Massa Pit Stop (Singapore F1 2008 GP)



Watch race full video here: http://f1video2008.blogspot.com


No serious injuries in pitstop blunders

Sep.28 (GMM) Mechanics hurt in two separate pitstop incidents during Sunday's Singapore grand prix have escaped serious injury. The most spectacular incident involved championship contender Felipe Massa, who despite getting a green light from Ferrari's unique 'traffic lights' solution pulled away too early.

The Brazilian yanked the fuel hose from the rig and carried it the entire length of the pitlane, and was penalised for unsafely pulling into the path of Force India's Adrian Sutil.

Another victim of the melee was a Ferrari mechanic, who after being knocked to the ground was taken to the circuit medical centre.

"The most important thing is the guy is okay, he is being brought to the medical centre and will see if he has any injuries or not," team spokesman Luca Colajanni told ITV Sport.

Later in the race, the Red Bull lollipop man wrongly gave David Coulthard the signal to drive away from a pitstop, and a team mechanic was hurt.

"He has damaged his ankle ligaments and burned his thumb, but fortunately other than that he's okay," said team principal Christian Horner.


Ferrari could use lollipop for rest of season

Sep.28 (GMM) Felipe Massa has admitted that abandoning Ferrari's unique 'traffic lights' pitstop solution is an option, following yet another blunder in Singapore on Sunday. The latest mistake could cost the Brazilian the world championship, after he fell 7 points behind McLaren's title leader Lewis Hamilton by failing to score at F1's first night race.

Massa pulled away from a pitstop too early, ripping the refuelling hose from the rig, knocking over a mechanic, and incurring a penalty for driving into the path of another car.

"It was not a technical failure, but a human one, so the same thing can happen with any system," the 27-year-old told reporters when asked if Sunday's incident might finally compel Ferrari to abandon the 'traffic lights' system.

"Of course we could return to using a lollipop, but today's problem was not about this," Massa added, explaining that because a mechanic pressed a button too soon, the green light on the driver gantry simply came on too soon.

"These things happen," he continued. "We are all human and we can all make mistakes."

Team boss Stefano Domenicali confirmed: "It was Felipe himself who went to console the mechanic who made the mistake."


Ferrari - A pointless night

Singapore, 28th September - Felipe Massa thirteenth and Kimi Raikkonen retired, because of an accident. For the first time this season, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro failed to score a single point in a Grand Prix.

A Safety Car period early on did nothing to help the situation and a mistake at Felipe's pit stop effectively ended any chance he had of a good result having started from pole position. His result was further compromised by a drive through penalty and then a puncture.

The surprise winner was Fernando Alonso in the Renault, with Nico Rosberg taking a second place for Williams and Lewis Hamilton third for McLaren-Mercedes. This results makes the championship situation much tougher with just three races remaining as McLaren-Mercedes moves ahead of the Scuderia to lead the Constructors' by a single point, while Hamilton's lead over Felipe in the Drivers' classification goes from one point to seven.

When the lights went out the front of the grid maintained position, with Felipe leading Hamilton and Kimi, followed by Kubica, Vettel and Glock these last two moving up a place at the expense of Kovalainen who had banged wheels with Kubica. Felipe and Hamilton were separated by just over a second, while Kimi was trailing by a further 4.4 on lap 3. In the early stages the best battle was for ninth place as Rosberg was desperately trying to pass Trulli, the Finn finally getting the Italian on lap 6. On lap 7 the cameras showed Felipe running over a piece of debris but it did not seem to have any effect.

On lap 10 of 61, the order was Massa, Hamilton, Raikkonen, now upping his pace and closing on second place, Kubica, Vettel, Glock, Kovalainen, Heidfeld, Rosberg, Nakajima completing the top ten, followed by Alonso, up from fifteenth, Trulli, Webber, Button, Coulthard, Bourdais, Barrichello, Piquet, Sutil and Fisichella last. Kimi had picked up the pace and was now 3.2 behind Hamilton, while Felipe's lead over the McLaren man was 3.4 seconds.

Lap 12 saw Alonso the first man to pit, which would be a key to the final outcome and then on lap 15, Piquet crashed his Renault heavily into the wall bringing out the Safety Car. Barrichello had pitted along with Rosberg at this time but the Honda driver then stopped for no apparent reason out on track. Kubica, Webber and Coulthard also stopped, all before the pit lane was officially open. When the pit lane opened Massa and Raikkonen came in together for a double stop, but it went wrong as the Brazilian was released by the team while the fuel line was still attached to his car and he had to stop at the end of pit lane. Raikkonen came in right behind him and had a normal stop, but obviously lost time having to wait his turn. After what seemed like an eternity, the mechanics finally managed to remove the fuel line from Felipe's car and he continued out on track, not losing a lap but running at the back.

The order on lap 18, still behind the SC was now Rosberg, Trulli, Fisichella, Kubica, Alonso, Webber, Bourdais, Coulthard, Hamilton and Vettel completing the top ten. Kimi and Felipe were 17th and 18th. On lap 19, the SC came in and the race was on again. However, there was much confusion as Race Control was expected to impose penalties on those drivers who stopped before the pit lane had been officially opened. Massa would also be penalised with a drive-through for "dangerous release from pit lane."

On lap 27, Kubica came in for a 10 second stop go penalty. One lap later it was Rosberg's turn to do the same thing, dropping him from the lead to fourth, promoting Trulli to leader ahead of Fisichella, followed by Alonso, Coulthard and Hamilton. Fisichella finally refuelled on lap 29. Mark Webber retired in the garage on this lap. Kimi and Felipe were twelfth and fifteenth at this point.

So at the halfway point in this extraordinary race, the order was Trulli, Alonso, Rosberg, Coulthard, Hamilton, Glock, Vettel, Heidfeld, Nakajima, Button, Kovalainen, Raikkonen, Sutil, Bourdais, Kubica, Fisichella and Massa seventeenth and last. Alonso then moved into the lead as Trulli pitted and Kimi was up to tenth. An exciting battle was brewing in the fight for third place, as Coulthard was being closed down by Hamilton.

Rosberg came in from second for his final stop on lap 40, dropping to seventh, and one lap later, race leader Alonso made his final refuelling, coming out just ahead of the battle between Coulthard and Hamilton. The slight loss of momentum allowed the McLaren driver to get ahead of the Red Bull. These two men then came down pit lane together on lap 42, with the McLaren staying out ahead, as the Scotsman tried to leave his pit before the refuelling line had been removed. Kimi was now up to eighth and fourth a lap later, but the Finn had yet to make a final pit stop.

A second safety car period was prompted by Sutil hitting the wall and when it was over, for the final sprint to the flag, Kimi had got himself up to fifth place, while out in front, Alonso had a healthy lead over Rosberg who was being chased down by third placed Hamilton. Felipe was fourteenth. Then with just three laps remaining, further bad news as Kimi clipped the wall, damaging the right front corner of the car to retire.


A black day, there's little else to say - Ferrari Boss

Monday, 29 September 2008
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro leaves Singapore empty handed. After the early part of the race when Felipe Massa maintained his pole position set yesterday and Kimi Raikkonen was closing on the driver ahead of him in the fight for second place, the arrival of the Safety Car on lap 15 called for a double pit stop for both Ferrari men on lap 17.

F. Massa: 13th 1:57.51.474 + 36.170 61 laps chassis 269
K. Raikkonen: 15th 1:50.11.975 DNF 57 laps chassis 271
Weather: air temperature 29/32 °C, track temperature 29/31° C, overcast.

As Felipe was being refueled, the green light came on before refueling had been completed. The driver drove off dragging the fuel line behind him and had to stop at the end of pit lane, thus dropping to the back of the pack. His race was further compromised by a penalty linked to this incident and a puncture that saw him make his second stop ahead of schedule. He crossed the finish line thirteenth. Kimi, obviously penalized by the double stop, rejoined in around fifteenth place and began a climb up the order that should have resulted in fifth place. On lap 58 however, the Finn lost control of the car at the chicane and ended up in the barriers. After this poor showing, Felipe is now seven points down on the leader of the Drivers' championship and the team drops to second place one point behind the leader of the Constructors' classification.

Stefano Domenicali: "A black day, there's little else to say. We had the potential to finish first and second but we didn't even pick up a point. We are very disappointed but that doesn't mean we are downtrodden. We have always shown our ability to react, especially at the most difficult times and we will do it again this time. The situation in the two championships has become more complicated but there are still three races to go and a lot of points up for grabs. We know what we have to do to reach our objectives. The first part of the race showed that today our car was the quickest on track. The Safety Car came out at the worst possible moment, but we are not looking for excuses because this uncertain factor must always be taken into account. Then the team made a mistake at the pit stop during the Safety Car period, which cost Massa the race. I am very sorry for Felipe because he was driving a very strong race following on from a great pole yesterday. I want to point out that it was Felipe himself who went to console the mechanic who made the mistake, which shows the team spirit that we have between us: we win together and we lose together. Kimi managed to get into the points but then he ended up in the barriers at one of the many tricky points around this track. A shame, as it would have meant precious points for the Constructors' classification. We must look ahead and prepare ourselves as well as possible for the remaining three races."

Felipe Massa: "It's hard to deal with losing in this fashion a race that was within our grasp, with a car that was just the way I wanted it. We had a good strategy and all the signs were there that we could get a one-two finish. But things can change in a moment and that's what happened today. At the pit stop, one of the guys made a mistake. But we are only human. Each one of us always tries to do our best and these things can happen. With the Safety Car still on track, I didn't lose a lap, but then I got a drive-through and later I also picked up a puncture in the left rear. On this track it is almost impossible to overtake and ending up at the back meant I had not chance of getting into the points. Seven points to make up in three races? That can be a lot or it can be a little. We have the potential to do well, as we saw today and we will give it our best shot. We mustn't give up and I'm sure we won't."

Kimi Raikkonen: "I was trying to attack Glock in case he might make a mistake, but I went slightly wide at the chicane, jumping over the kerb and when the car landed, I lost control and ended up in the barriers. My situation in the championship was already rather compromised, so this doesn't really make that much difference but I am unhappy because the team has lost precious points in the Constructors' classification. In the opening laps, the car was a bit difficult but then it improved a lot, to such an extent that I was able to close right up to Hamilton. When the Safety Car came out, I know my race was compromised given that I had to pit behind Felipe. I was able to get back up to fifth but then the incident I described earlier happened. Clearly, morale is not high today. But I am not used to giving up and will do my very best to try and help the team reach its targets."

Luca Baldisserri: "It's hard to put into words today's disappointment. We had everything in place to get the best possible result and unfortunately we ended up with nothing. Felipe was controlling the early stages of the race, while Kimi, after a few difficulties at the beginning, was running at a great pace. The Safety Car threw our plans into the air. First and foremost, we had to go for a double pit stop - the best choice in this situation - but it penalized Kimi. Then we made a mistake in letting Felipe go and that ruined his race. We could have made a significant step forward in both championships but we ended up going backwards. Now we must roll up our sleeves and prepare as well as possible for the coming races. There is still plenty of time to recover but there is no more room for error."


FERRARI SUMMARIES

An unmitigated disaster for Ferrari, especially Massa's title challenge, whose 1 point deficit to Hamilton increased to 7 points with a key team mistake that left him 13th at the flag. The floored mechanic was lucky to escape serious injury when Massa, wrongly shown a green light on Ferrari's unique 'traffic lights' pitstop gantry, ripped the fuel hose from the rig, then incurring a drive-through penalty for steering into the path of Adrian Sutil. "It's hard to deal with losing in this fashion a race that was within our grasp," said the pole sitter, who easily held off Hamilton in the early stages. With only a few laps to go, Kimi Raikkonen crashed out of fifth place at the now notorious turn 10 chicane.

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