Formula 1: War of the pit stop crews

Formula 1: Tire change in under three seconds
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E in a pit stop over three seconds is considered worse Stop. You heard that right: three seconds to change four wheels is the minimum number teams allow their mechanics to use. 'Our record is 2.83 seconds,' reveals Williams test boss Dickie Stanford.

Petrov with 20 pit stops in a row

With such short refueling times, the driver in the pit entry and exit is not allowed to give anything away. Formula 1 newcomer Nico H├╝lkenberg is still a little behind his team-mate Rubens Barrichello. Who is surprised. Barrichello is steeled in 285 GP battles. With the record participant, driving in and out of the box is almost automatic.

The last test before the start of the season is traditionally used for pit stop training. Renault let Vitaly Petrov always circle two laps, then the Russian had to head for the pits . And immediately a 17-person crew rushed onto the yellow and black car. 20 times in a row. The competition stopped with. Most of the stops were in the three-customer range.

Video analysis after tire change training

Perfect equipment is essential for an optimal pit stop. Red Bull gives nothing to chance Chance. The gallows for the impact wrenches are as thick as a tree trunk. Nothing can wobble there. There are eight compressed air bottles for eight impact wrenches on the platform of the gallows. If a screwdriver fails, the replacement is right next to it. A camera is placed on the front gallows that films every pit stop. All teams do that. In order to discuss errors with the mechanics in the video analysis afterwards.

Mercedes GP has copied the traffic light system from Ferrari. When Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg park in the boxes, they don't look at a man with a lollipop but at a red light. Which automatically turns green when the last mechanic has removed his impact wrench.

Boxing traffic lights not without their pitfalls

The automatism isinterrupted when a man presses red at the control panel, for example when there is traffic in the pit lane. The traffic light regulation can be based on calculations by Ferrari to save half a second of time. But it has already caused breakdowns. Just think of Valencia and Singapore in 2008, when the green light was triggered too early.

Renault has a mix. Two lights for red and green are embedded on the lollipop. In the end, however, the man at the trowel still decides whether the driver can accelerate again.

Automatic wheel lock

The regulations state that Pit crews a help. The mechanics no longer have to secure the wheels by pulling a pin in the wheel hub. The safety mechanism is now in the impact wrench itself. It only releases the wheel nut when it has been tightened to the prescribed torque. When the impact wrench is removed, it releases two pins on the wheel hub, which spread open to secure the wheel.


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