Brake lights arrive in Formula 1

Brake lights were tested for the first time in Formula 1 at Silverstone last week as teams agreed to try out the system at the behest of the sport's governing body, the FIA, in an attempt to reduce the number of crashes under braking

Brake lights arrive in Formula 1

According to this week's Motorsport News, the move came after Ross Brawn proposed the idea when Michael Schumacher was hit from behind at the first corner of last year's Austrian and German grands prix. Further impacts from behind, such as Jacques Villeneuve hitting Ralf Schumacher in Melbourne, which led to the death of a marshal, has spurred the FIA into this course of action.

Brake lights would give drivers vital milliseconds more reaction time should the car in front brake earlier than expected. At Silverstone, teams rigged their rear lights to come on when drivers braked, while Prost went a step further and lit the rear of its engine cover.

The experiment received a mixed response from insiders, one leading expert telling MN: "I don't see how it will stop any accidents."

Jordan's Canadian GP stand-in Ricardo Zonta was also doubtful of the benefits of the system: "It could help, but you don't really have any time anyway. If you are behind someone and the guy touches the brakes, and you touch them later, then you're going to hit them already, because the brakes are too good."

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