The electronic marshalling system has been used since the first night race at Singapore in 2008. But few of us have seen pics of the hardware involved. The system, controlled by the lead flag marshal at each turn, does not replace the flags, but augments them. The local lights are controlled by the station marshals, not the FIA race command. This is how it should be.
The award winning system (Professional MotorSport World Expo Awards), designed and built by EM Motorsports, improves flagging by providing on-track lights that display the same info as the flag marshals. The advantage is that the lights are positioned in such a way that a driver cannot claim ignorance of the track status due to "problems" seeing the manual flags.
The manual flags are still displayed, just as they always have, but the lights provide another source of flagging information. The Marshal's hand-held display also shows the flagging status at the turns before and after the flag Marshal's station. Other course-wide info, controlled by central command, is displayed on the Marshal's controller as well. This includes data such as safety car deployment, full course yellows, and red flag conditions.
The console also includes radio communications with central race command.
Some Marshals that I know do not like the system as it represents the trend toward electronic control of marshalling duties. I understand their concerns. But as long as the responsibility of pushing the buttons and initiating a flagged response is left in the control of a lead station Marshal, I am okay with the technology.
What do you think?