Sensor to blame for Ferrari pit stop blunder

Dan Herrero

Friday 13th April, 2018 - 8:45pm

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Kimi Raikkonen in Bahrain pic: Scuderia Ferrari Twitter

Ferrari has revealed that a sensor misread led to the Kimi Raikkonen’s early release and consequent injury of a pit crew member in Bahrain.

Francesco Cigarini has undergone surgery for a fractured shinbone and fibula after being hit by Raikkonen’s left-rear wheel as he pulled away from his pit bay.

The Finn had been signalled by a green light to depart despite an issue which caused the wheel to not be changed.

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene says that a sensor was tricked by the problem with the wheel, though he did not disclose exactly how.

He did say that the team has reviewed the matter with the FIA and believes that there will not be a repeat.

“First of all, the team was hurt,” Arrivabene stated.

“We have a person who was injured, so it was in our interest to review the overall procedure.

“We (have) done our review, together with the FIA have as they are caring about safety, as we are caring about safety. We went through all the procedure.

“We have a procedure to ensure that the pit stops during the race are done in the most safe mode.

“In this case we have three factors – one involves human control, the other involves mechanical, the other involves electronic device.

“What’s happening there is we have a mishandling of the rear left. It was not perfectly read by the electronic device that gives the green light

“We went through all the procedure together with the FIA, making sure that this thing doesn’t happen again, and it’s in our interest, because we care about our people, before anything else.”

Arrivabene also confirmed that Cigarini, with whom he has been talking “every day”, returned to Italy yesterday and is “fine”.

“I would like to thank our team doctor, the medical staff of the FIA, and also the authorities in Bahrain,” he added.

“They immediately granted to us the best doctors in Bahrain to do the surgery and they were assisting us 24 hours (a day) literally, so thanks to all of them.”

Pit stop bungles have been a hot topic in Formula 1 of late after Haas’ double failure in Australia.

There were more problems in today’s second practice session in Shanghai with McLaren under investigation for an unsafe release after Stoffel Vandoorne pulled off shortly into an out lap and reported a loose right-rear wheel.

Ferrari was fined 50,000 Euros for its pit stop bungle.

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