Renault to use special jack for pit stops

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Renault have designed a special quick-release jack to speed up their tyre changes this year.

They will also use specially-designed wheel nuts to get tyres on and off more quickly.

Sporting director Steve Nielsen said:

Although we always aimed to complete pit stops as quickly as possible, the main emphasis was on attaching and detaching the fuel hose. By taking fuel out of the equation, it’s purely down to the tyres and this has become another area where you can win or lose time. The wheels need to be changed as quickly as humanly possible.

Three and a half seconds will be a decent stop, which has halved the time available for the crew to service the car compared to last year.
Steve Nielsen

Williams have already completed tyre changes in less than three seconds in practice at their factory. There are unconfirmed rumours Red Bull have managed a sub-two second stop.

Renault ran into trouble with their pit stops in 2009 when they sent Fernando Alonso onto the track at the Hungaroring with a loose front wheel. It later fell off, leading to his retirement. The stewards initially banned Renault from the following race, but later rescinded the punishment.

Nielsen added that the ending of refuelling during pit stops did not mean pit crews would go back to wearing shorts and T-shirts:

The pit lane is still a dangerous place. We will keep the mechanics fully kitted out in fireproof gear. The only difference this year is that OMP have supplied us with two layer suits instead of the standard three layer suits – so the guys won’t get so hot in Bahrain! Also, wearing helmets will protect the guys in case they get knocked over or if there’s an incident in the pits.
Steve Nielsen

Meanwhile Robert Kubica said he expects his new team to show improved speed at Bahrain with a new aerodynamic upgrade:

We haven’t run with all our new updates yet and there is another aero upgrade for Bahrain, which we hope will match the wind tunnel predictions and improve performance.

Overall, it seems that all the top teams are quite close, but some have definitely hidden their full potential during testing and will also have more updates for Bahrain. So far, I think Ferrari and Mercedes look very strong.
Robert Kubica

Read more: Williams change tyres in less than three seconds in pre-season practice

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Renault to use special jack for pit stops”

  1. Nathan Bradley
    8th March 2010, 12:22

    Hi Keith,

    Sub 2 secs? That would be very fast, it’s a little bit doubtful at the moment but who knows?

    Do you still want help with the microblogging?

      1. Nathan Bradley
        8th March 2010, 13:03

        Have left a comment there as well, add me to the list, but I’m not really sure how it works lol! Maybe drop me a line by email?


  2. It is great to see, how much inventiveness there is in this sport. Take wings and flaps etc. away, they come up with the double diffusor.
    Now everybody is designing exotic wheel nuts (Ferrari, Force India wheels and now Renault) and jacks to make quick and reliable pit stops.
    I wonder what will be next.

    1. Plink Plonk Plunk
      8th March 2010, 14:17

      I dont recall what team it was but late in the season last year one of them had a special jack to quickly replace a nose cone.

      Rather than having to slide it on by hand, one member of the crew would pull the installed nose cone off then, quickly, another team member had this jack that had the new nose cone on it and just slid it right on the car! The neat thing was that the jack had the new nose cone at the exact height of the car, when jacked up.

      It was pretty clever. Simple and effective. I only saw it once and forget what team it was but wouldnt be surprised if others follow suit this year.

      Anyone remember what team that was?

      1. I think it was Toyota.

        1. Plink Plonk Plunk
          8th March 2010, 14:29

          Well that would be fitting considering the amount of nose cones they replaced!

          1. Yes, it seems Toyota has a problem with “unintended deceleration” as well. Maybe the US Congress should look into that :-)

      2. Im thinking a similar kind of idea could be used for the wheels, with some kind of automation for fastening.

        1. Plink Plonk Plunk
          8th March 2010, 14:56

          Here’s a link with a great picture of Ferrari’s new wheel lug for 2010.

      3. probably Torro Rosso for when algusuari inevitably knocks it off

  3. I think pitstops are going to be one of the more intresting changes for 2010. I expect 3-3.5 seconds would be a good stop for the front runners. Itll be interesting to see how the new teams get on with this, given the limited practise they will have had.

    Red Bull having a sub 2sec stop would be stunning. It could be done using some advanced fastening system, if anything of the sort would be legal. Not sure what the rules for pitstops are however, has the number of people allowed to work on the car been limited?

    Depending on how the tyres work, we might see more stops if it doesnt cost that much time in the pits. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  4. Let’s hope that the TV coverage matches the technical advancement of the F1 teams and provide better graphics and times of these pit stops.
    In the past when refuelling banned we had many a poor attempt at TV coverage and pit stop times. Most got missed or the clock started late, so you never knew the real time.

    I’m excited to see the quick pit stops back and I want to see who is the quickest, and not rely on info after the event.

  5. Robert McKay
    8th March 2010, 13:12

    I’d be amazed at a sub 2 second stop.

    That just does not seem feasible, short of some sort of automated mechanism that “pops” the 4 wheels off simultaneously when the car stops and the driver presses a button (hmm…can we patent that?).

    3-3.5 seems impressive enough.

    1. Bigbadderboom
      8th March 2010, 20:58

      Agreed, sub 2 seconds would be incredible, i think its all just pressure talk, I think teams will also want to work within a safe parameter and that kind of stop could lead to all sorts of problems should it go wrong.

  6. I read somewhere the ultimate pitstop was of Benetton in 3.2secs. So sub 2 would mean almost half.
    Twenty-one, twenty-… and away it is. We’ll see. But I think it is just a rumour spread to upset the rivals.

  7. Ironic :). Wasn’t it benneton who send Herbert out with the rear jack still attached to his car in ’95.

  8. I just can’t believe anyone achieved a sub two second stop even if it was in practice and so with none of the pressure of a race stop.

    When you think of all the stages that have to happen while the car is stationary it just seems impossible, the rear jack man has to get into position and lift the car, they have to undo the wheel nuts and remove the old wheels, then put the new ones on and tighten the wheel nuts and then the front jack man has to get out of the way.

  9. doesn’t actually mention anything about the special jack in that article…?

    1. To help speed up pit stops further, the team has made some practical changes by producing a bespoke front jack with a quick-release mechanism. The wheel nuts have also been reworked in the search for speed. Wheel fairings have been banned for 2010, another consequence of the regulations, which happens to make life easier for the front wheel men. “All those changes come together to save us quite a bit of time,” confirms Steve.

      1. thanks but where did you find that?


          Easiest way to find a source is to copy the quoted text and plug it into Google.

  10. Meredes have been trying something slightly different in testing.

    1. Heh, this could’ve been some 6.5sec at best.

    2. What the hell? Where are helemts etc… Is it a picnic or f1 pit stop? :)

  11. Hmmm, quick release jacks and special wheel nuts? Have Renault ‘borrowed’ some technology from Touring Car or NASCAR racing? :-)

  12. I expect renault to show some good pace this year.

  13. Sub 2 sec stop – seems to be physically impossible.
    Take a look at barca pitstop practice of RB:

    Its hard to go under 5s for them…

  14. “Nielsen added that the ending of refuelling during pit stops did not mean pit crews would go back to wearing shorts and T-shirts”

    Thank goodness for that! From the 1980s to 1993 there was nothing worse than seeing men wearing tight shorts … :-(

  15. Guys,i read an article somewhere where it said that the Red Bull mechanics completed a tyre-change pitstop in 1.8 seconds!!

    1. It’s mentioned in the article above:
      “There are unconfirmed rumours Red Bull have managed a sub-two second stop.”

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