Ferrari boss defends pit stop actions
25 August 2008 – Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali fended questions on three hot topics in his post-race press conference on the shores of the Valencia America's Cup yacht basic after Sunday European Grand Prix in Spain.
The two pit stops incidents were the burning questions, with Domenicali quick to point out that the mechanic injured when Kimi Raikkonen left the pit prematurely had only suffered a fracture of a toe.
"He's very happy that we won," said Domenicali. "As an example of the team atmosphere, he said to me 'I'm very sorry, I'm very sorry' and it was not his fault. It just shows how Ferrari people are, the passion that they have, the way they behave and the professionalism that they put in every day. We need to be very proud of the guys who work in this team."
Domenicali explained how the team no longer uses a lollypop, but a system of lights in a pod directly in front of the driver. "The system works in the following way. When the fuel nozzle is connected to the car, you see that there is a red light on. At a certain moment, you see that there is a flashing light that is close to the red light, telling the driver that he has to be ready. Then, as soon as the nozzle comes off, the light becomes green unless the guy that is controlling the pit stop position overrides it manually, because there is a car in the fast lane coming through, so he has to delay the car. That is how the system works. We've used it since last year."
Was it too complicated, Domenicali was asked? "I don't think so, to be honest. When there is a red flight, it's a red light, it's like the lollypop is down. I don't think that we need to go towards that depth. Of course we need to make sure that the system is always working, that is something that we have to make sure, but this is another story." Domenicali explained that the light was red when Raikkonen attempted to rejoin.
That fact that teams no longer have a T-car to do pit stop training on Saturday morning was not an issue, explained Domenicali. "We are doing pit stop practice at home, trying to do more simulation or some rehearsals at home, but the fact that we can't do it at a race I don't think is a problem."