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Pit exit lights to be installed after drivers raise concerns

NEWS STORY
14/10/2011

The FIA is looking to install warning lights at the pitlane exit following Nico Rosberg's clash with Jaime Alguersuari in this morning's second practice session.

The German lost control of his Mercedes in Turn 1, skidding into the Spaniard's Toro Rosso as he left the pits. The design of the pitlane exit which leaves those leaving the pits vulnerable to any car which runs wide in the first corner - as aptly demonstrated this morning - will be changed for next year however, in the meantime warning lights are likely to be installed for the remainder of the weekend.

The most likely solution is that blue lights will be fitted in the pitlane to remind drivers of the possible danger ahead should cars run wide, while on track flashing white lights will warn drivers approaching Turn 1 that a car is leaving the pits. However, a final decision will be made on Saturday.

"If you look at the number of cars that went off at turn one during practice and of course, when we have wet conditions, difficult conditions, I think 20 or 30 cars went off. It was neither driver's fault, neither Alguersuari nor Rosberg's fault, but that is the consequence of that pit lane exit," said Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn. "Obviously, we will try and help the drivers, particularly during the race. It's a little more difficult during practice because cars stop and do practice starts from the end of the pit lane. You can't always anticipate where they are going to be, but we will try and help the drivers during the race but it's not ideal."

"It's an unfortunate incident and a lot of cars will run wide into turn one and unfortunately when you exit the pit lane and it filters back in at that point, it was a law of averages that an accident was going to happen," added Christian Horner.

"It's a shame that that one hasn't been addressed," he continued. "It's good to see that the visibility at the pit lane entry - the wall has been moved back so there's better visibility coming in to the pit lane or pit lane entry. It's probably impossible to do anything, certainly for this weekend.

Rosberg was subsequently fined, not for the incident itself but for stopping off for an interview with members of the media. The Mercedes driver was hit with a 10,000 euro fine, half of which is suspended for twelve months.

Other than the Rosberg/Alguersuari clash, a number of drivers, including Vitaly Petrov, expressed unease that the exit was an accident waiting to happen.

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