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Cockpit signal system gets green light

NEWS STORY
12/05/2013

Ahead of today's Grand Prix, the FIA appears convinced that the problem which has compromised its on-board marshalling system in the first four races has been resolved.

The issue, which first appeared in Melbourne and was initially attributed to mice chewing through cables, left drivers uninformed regarding warning flags, the deployment of the Safety Car and whether DRS had been disabled or enabled.

In the hours following the Chinese Grand Prix eight drivers were under investigation for using DRS whilst yellow flags were in operation though no further action was taken, race stewards admitting that there were "mitigating circumstances".

The system, which is provided by the German company, Riedel Communications, essentially provides an on-board marshalling system in addition to the traditional flags and warnings shown around the circuit.

Speaking to Reuters recently, race steward, and BRDC president, Derek Warwick said that from Spain onwards the issue will be a thing of the past. A release issued by Race Director Charlie Whiting this morning appears to confirm that.

It reads:

We are now confident that the marshalling system will function as originally expected, I would therefore like to confirm the following:

1: The red, yellow and blue cockpit lights will be operational.

2: At the start of the race DRS will be enabled once all cars have crossed the Line to complete two laps.

3: There will still be no automatic blue flag messages on the Official Messaging System. Tw and three second early alert indicators will however be available in race control and messages will be sent to the Official Messaging System accordingly, it will remain important that teams do their best to ensure their drivers respect blue flags.

4: If the safety car is deployed Safety Car Mode will be automatically enabled on all cars and the drivers will then have to adhere to the time displayed on their dash.

5: If the safety car is deployed a message saying "DRS DISABLED" will be displayed and the systems on all cars will be disabled. The systems will be re-enabled automatically on each car as it crosses the Line for the third time after the Safety Car returns to the pits.

6: If yellow flags or lights are displayed in a DRS activation zone a message saying "DRS DISABLED" will be displayed and the systems on all cars will be disabled. When the track is clear a message saying "DRS ENABLED" will be displayed and the systems will be enabled.

7: In conditions of poor visibility a message saying "DRS DISABLED" may be displayed and the systems on all cars will be disabled.

Charlie didn't add 8 - fingers crossed, so we'll do it for him.

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