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Pit stop charts: Mercedes also number one in the pit

Wolfgang Wilhelm
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E Mercedes actually doesn't need it at all. The crew of the series winners could take their time when changing tires. Those who lead comfortably on the race track don't have to win the last tenths of a second in the pits. It is far too risky to make a mistake, not to screw on the wheel properly and possibly to receive a time or drive-through penalty.

Last year Mercedes stuck to this rule. According to team manager Ron Meadows, the Mercedes mechanics installed a safety buffer of half a second at all pit stops in 2014. You were so superior that you still won. Should the tire change records get others.

Without repairs and SafetyCar stops

Also in this one Year a safe handling of the pit stop has priority. But with Ferrari, at least on some tracks, there is an opponent that Mercedes must keep an eye on. Every now and then, it comes down to a quick pit stop. This mix of security and competitive pressure has a positive effect. Mercedes tops the list of pit stops after the first seven Grand Prix of the season. Ferrari, for example, risked a lot at Kimi Raikkonen's pit stops in Melbourne, and then paid for it. The Finn had to stop on the track with a loose wheel.

The recordings only consider real tire changes without repairs. Pit stops during a SafetyCar phase are also excluded, as they disadvantage the teams in the middle and rear fields. If everyone comes to the pits at the same time for the 'free stop', the teams in midfield lose more time than those at the top because of the traffic in the pit lane. Tire changes with breakdowns are of course included.

Since the exact stop times are not accessible, the time in the pit lane is used for evaluation. This filters out the stop because the speed limit in the pits is the same for everyone. We took the mean of all the stops of a team in every race and put together a table from it.

Force India strong, McLaren weak

For the overall standings, we added up all averages. The ranking list of the median placement and pit stop times is not identical because the pit lanes have different lengths and therefore the length of stay is different. Lotus and Manor are based in Melbourneno pit stops at all. One because both drivers were out of the race after just one lap. The other because the cars didn't start. And a capital mistake can ruin a team's position in a race, but in total time the average for all seven Grand Prix.

Mercedes is ahead in both rankings. See table. The order reads very much like the World Cup stand. Which proves that staff, tools, training and analysis play a role here too. Those who build faster cars also have the means to be better off in the secondary theaters of war. Still, you can sometimes beat the big guys with less money. Take Force India, for example: The Silverstone squad made the fastest pit stops in Montreal and was nowhere really bad. In contrast, the former pit stop kings Red Bull and McLaren are disappointing. The possibilities would be there, even if the cars are slow.

To better explain the overall overview, we break down the table team by team:

  • Mercedes: three times P1 (Malaysia, China, Monte Carlo), worst position P5 in Bahrain (Hamilton, Rosberg)
  • Ferrari: two times P1 (Bahrain, Spain), worst position: P7 Australia (Raikkonen ), P9 Canada (Vettel)
  • Williams: once P1 (Australia), worst placement: P8 Canada (Bottas)
  • Force India: once P1 (Canada), worst placement : P6 (Malaysia, Bahrain)
  • Toro Rosso: Best placement: P4 Malaysia, worst placement P8 Australia (Sainz), Monaco (Verstappen), P10 Bahrain (Verstappen, Sainz)
  • Lotus: Best placement: P3 (Malaysia), worst placement P9 Spain (Grosjean)
  • Manor: Best placement: P8 (Bahrain), worst placement P10 (Malaysia, China, Spain, Monaco, Canada)
  • Clean: Best place ranking: P4 (Australia), worst ranking P9 China (Ericsson), Bahrain (Ericsson), Monaco (Nasr)
  • Red Bull: best ranking: P3 (Australia, China, Canada), worst ranking P8 Malaysia (Kvyat)
  • McLaren: Best placement: P3 (Bahrain), worst placement P9 Malaysia (Button)

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