W That was 2010 when Formula 1 was still on Bridgestone was driving? On average, one or two pit stops per driver. Two years ago, there were 28 pit stops each in Barcelona and Silverstone, and only 20. In Monte Carlo, there were 304 pit stops in the first nine races.
In comparison, the numbers increased with the arrival of Pirelli 2011 downright inflationary. Barcelona recorded 77 stops, Silverstone 54 and Monte Carlo 43. A total of 560 pit stops were made at the first nine Grand Prix of the previous year. Mainly for changing tires. The drive-through penalties are balanced out over the years.
Pirelli tires last longer than 2011
This season, the number of stops has fallen sharply again. From 560 to 466. Although three of the four Pirelli compounds are softer than last year. So there is no question of short-lived tires, as some teams would have us believe.
Even if one excludes the numbers from Istanbul and Bahrain for the comparison because of the differences in the racetracks, the total number of all stops (478: 395) this season would be 83 below the value of last year. Nor can one argue with the weather. Just as the rain chaos in Montreal in 2011 brought more tire changes than usual, this was also the case in Malaysia in 2012.
Teams and Pirelli are learning about it
The reasons for the decline in Stops are obvious. The teams and Pirelli have learned a lot. After the experience of last year, the engineers were able to build on the one year old voting data. And after a season, the Italian tire supplier knows which rubber compounds are perfect for which route.
Even the long-standing tire supplier Bridgestone had to find out what that can do. In 2009 there was no racing in Montreal. A year later, Bridgestone in Canada had a nasty surprise. The 61 stops from 2010 stand out negatively even when compared to the Bridgestone numbers. The rubber compounds used in Montreal in 2010 were far too soft.
In a comparison between 2011 and 2012, it is clear that the number of pit stops only increased at one Grand Prix, and that was the rain and the later drying track owed in Malaysia. Four types of tires were used in one race: bad weather tires, intermediates, medium and hard. A novelty.
With more thanIn half of the first nine Grand Prix, the drivers made one stop less over the distance than in 2011. And that although the cars generate less contact pressure than a year ago with the blown diffuser. Downforce usually protects the tires. That means that Pirelli must also have improved in terms of durability.
Pit stops are getting faster and faster
Nevertheless, there is still a lot of action in the pit lane. That makes the time you spend there all the more important. Pit stops can decide races. A fight for tenths of a second has broken out. A downtime of less than three seconds is almost the norm.
When comparing the total dwell time in the pit lane of the fastest pit stop in the race, it turns out that the teams have improved in five out of eight cases. The races in Turkey in 2011 and Bahrain in 2012 are excluded because of the different lengths of the pit lane.
In total, the pit stop kings were 0.688 seconds faster with eight comparison options this year. This also deserves attention, because the FIA has banned some tricks. For example helium-fired impact wrenches or torque sensors. This year the screwdrivers are making the difference.