There is no more adrenaline-pumping instance in a Grand Prix de F1 than the pit stop when a score of people make a synchronized work to change four tires in a few seconds. It is a vital task to achieve the objectives of the different teams, whether it is seeking a victory or a title or gaining a position that allows you to enter the points zone and achieve a better position in the championship.
How fast can the tires be replaced? Time is surprising since in recent years the two-second barrier has been lowered, something that seemed impossible a while ago. The first time it happened was during the United States Grand Prix de 2013 when the team Red Bull Racing stopped the stopwatch at 1,923 seconds during an Australian stoppage Mark Webber.
A few years later, in the European Grand Prix de 2016, Williams broke that mark by establishing 1,920 seconds for the Brazilian replacement Felipe Massa. The mark was lowered in the 2019 British GP and returned to the hands of Red Bull, who nailed 1,910 to change the compounds to French Pierre Gasly. The Austrian team lowered the record again in 2019 with two super-fast saves to the Dutchman Max vestappen: In the German GP he nailed 1s880 and at the Brazilian GP, 1s820.
So important is a pit stop in F.1 than in the preseason the teams reprocedure beep 40 to 50 times daily. Also During the Thursdays before each race they practice for about 45 minutes and do another half-hour rehearsal session on Friday. Although it seems simple, the successful execution of an arrest comes from the results of hundreds of hours of intense analysis and preparation. Nowadays, given the equality of the rivals, a good save can make the difference between winning or losing a Grand Prix
Depending on the team, between 16 and 20 people work in the pit stop that are equipped with fireproof clothing and protective helmets. As soon as the car reaches the tire change area, usually marked in front of the box, the "Jackmen" lift the car, which weighs about 600 kilos, from front and rear, with jacks that act as a lever. Even before the vehicle is raised, the action begins ...
The rubber bands are changed by three people. One is in charge of loosening and adjusting the central nut of the rim, another removes the used tire and the last one puts the new one. As the operation is completed, the man in charge of the pneumatic gun, called “Gunman”, raises his arm to indicate that the new rubber is in place.
Once the rubber is renewed, the Jackmans lower the car and the driver receives the order, through a sign called "Lollipop" or a light signal, that he can return to the track. “A stop in Formula 1 is the perfect representation of the great work of a team. Every movement needs to be perfectly timed for it to be a success. If a single move is not, then the rest are not working. Achieving it has become a kind of art ”, did he ever speak english Jenson Button, Formula 1 champion in 2009.
The personnel who participate in the pit stop are completed with two mechanics whose function is to "stabilize" the car (one of them can also clean the pilot's visor), another two who are attentive to making aerodynamic adjustments, two more with jacks. extra in case of a failure and one that is aware of the traffic in the pit lane.
The 1,860 seconds that Red Bull achieved put a reference that, in principle, would seem difficult to lower. But in Formula 1 nothing is ever said.
THE FASTEST PIT STOP IN FORMULA 1
|1993||Belgium||Benneton||Ricardo Patresse||3,2 sec|
|2012||Germany||McLaren||Jenson Button||2,31 sec|
|2013||Malaysia||Red Bull||Mark Webber||2,05 sec|
|2013||United States||Red Bull||Mark Webber||1,923 sec|
|2016||Europe (*)||Williams||Felipe Massa||1,920 sec|
|2019||Britain||Red Bull||Pierre Gasly||1,910 sec|
|2019||Germany||Red Bull||Max Verstappen||1,880 sec|
|2019||Brazil||Red Bull||Max Verstappen||1,820 sec|
(*) It was played in Azerbaijan.