Felipe Massa pitted from the lead of the Marina Bay race, but a mechanic mistakenly switched the system to green before the fuel hose had been disengaged. As a result, Massa sped away with the hose still attached. He was served with a drive-through penalty and finished the race 13th.
“We still believe that our ‘traffic light system used for releasing the drivers from the pits does bring a performance advantage, something we have seen on a couple of occasions this season when it's use has allowed us to gain a place in pit lane,” explained team principal Stefano Domenicali.
“It is a good system that still has potential. However, for the rest of this season, in the light of recent events, we have decided to revert to a conventional 'lollipop' for telling the driver when it is clear for him to go. This decision has been taken purely to give the pit crew maximum confidence at the time of the pit stops. Pit stops are always a tense moment and with the fight for the championships so finely balanced that will be even more the case over these last few races. Therefore, we do not need to put our guys under any more strain than necessary.”
Ferrari are keen to maximize their performance as their title showdown with McLaren reaches its conclusion. In addition to the revised pit-stop procedure, the F2008 has been fitted with its final update of the season ahead of the concluding trio of races.
“As I said in Singapore immediately after the night race there, our target in Japan and also in the final two races will be to come away with maximum points," added Domenicali. "It is a simple statement but also a very difficult task! However, we have the potential to achieve this goal and we believe we can do it.”
The Italian team are one point adrift of their British rivals with 134 points to 135.