Schumacher: What went wrong at the pit stop

Michael Schumacher
Subscriptions & booklets

M ercedes swims on the wave of the first victory. Team boss Ross Brawn is quietly happy. As is his way. He's had enough success stories at Benetton, Ferrari and his own Brawn GP team. For him, Nico Rosberg's flawless drive at the front of the field was a satisfaction: 'We showed that this car can be fast even without DRS. Nico only had the opportunity to use the system when lapping. Everyone else is in the race with DRS more often driven. '

The traffic light system is fatal

It was not the perfect day. Mercedes might even have landed a double victory if Michael Schumacher hadn't made a mishap at the first pit stop. The front right wheel was not properly lashed. The wheel nut had jammed. Shortly after leaving the pit lane, Schumacher parked his Silver Arrow at the edge of the track.

In the meantime, Mercedes knows what happened in detail. Like almost all teams, Mercedes uses a set of traffic lights. Because torque sensors have been banned since this season, the information at the traffic lights must come from the main players at the pit stop. The traffic light turns green when seven buttons have been pressed. The men on the buttons are the mechanics on the jacks at the back and front and the fitters on the four impact wrenches. Plus the spotter who keeps an eye on the traffic in the pit lane. He can use his button to overwrite the entry for the other six.

Pressing the button cannot be undone

Ross Brawn remembers: 'The mechanic at the front right got one when hammering on the wheel nut Felt resistance and believed that the nut was stuck. That's why he pressed the Ready button when he pulled the impact wrench. When he looked at the wheel, he saw that the nut was sitting at an angle on the wheel hub. Unfortunately, we don't have a button that is his can undo the original input. That's why he gave a show of hands. But it was way too late by then. The other six had long pressed. '

Mistakes happen. Even with the fastest pit stop crew of the previous year. Just 30 seconds later, he proved how strong-nerved the man who cost Michael Schumacher the race is. 'We were all nervous after the incident when Nico came in,' says team manager Ron Meadows. 'And then the guys do our best pit stop in the whole race.'


Leave a reply

Name *