Red Bull claim new pit stop record of 2.05 seconds

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Red Bull claim their mechanics set a new record for the fastest ever four-wheel tyre change in Formula One.

Mark Webber’s RB9 was stationary for just 2.05 seconds when it had all four wheels changed on lap 19 of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

It helped Webber towards the fastest complete pit stop time of the entire race, taking 20.736 seconds from entry to exit. The top four quickest times at Sepang were all achieved by Red Bull.

Red Bull believe five of their eight pit stops during the Malaysian Grand Prix were quicker than the previous record of 2.31 seconds set by McLaren on Jenson Button’s car during last year’s German Grand Prix:

DriverLapPit stopTime (s)
Mark Webber1922.05
Sebastian Vettel512.13
Mark Webber712.13
Mark Webber3132.21
Mark Webber4342.26

“It’s possible this season we’ll see the magical two-second barrier breached at some point,” said the team.

“However, rather than chasing individual times, improving consistency is always the thing coveted by the crew: breaking records is merely the consequence of doing that well.”

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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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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97 comments on “Red Bull claim new pit stop record of 2.05 seconds”

  1. Lotus ‘s pit stop was awful ….constantly 1 sec behind…

    1. Does anyone know if Forca India set a new record for slowest pit stop of all time?

      1. *Force India

        1. *Farce India

      2. @nick-uk – McLaren must be challenging them for that record! On a serious note though, in the 50’s pit stops sometimes took minutes – the drivers actually climbed out the car for a small break!

        1. @vettel1
          I wouldn’t be surprised if teams and or F1 have considered and or are studying a mechanical way to replace tyres without humans. Or should we and sell the idea? Imagine four boxes designed to do this job? Or a two long the size of the car, similar to a drive through, eh? ;)

          1. @zicasso – sounds excellent: to the patent office! You could eliminate human reaction times there and quite possibly a lot of errors too, so sub-second pit stops may even be possible! :D

    2. Merc also falls in that consistently full 1sec slower category.

  2. If only every tyre garage were as fast as this…

  3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    3rd April 2013, 9:41

    That is seriously impressive.

    1. Rewatched the race today, the FOM footage broadcasted a time of 2.3 on lap 19.

      1. I’ve always wondered how the FOM measures the time during a race for a pitstop, they probably have someone with a stopwatch rewinding the tape each time! If that’s the case then don’t believe the time that comes up immediately after the stop.

        1. I believe they take the time it takes the car to travel the length of the pitlane at the limiter and subtract it from the actual time it took the car to pass through the two timing gates. So it takes in to account the time it takes the car to accelerate and brake in to the box or if there is traffic in the pitlane.

          1. invisiblekid
            3rd April 2013, 22:44

            Certainly seems like it. It also ****** me off as we don’t get to see the actually stop time till the exit the pits.

            Not so long ago you got real time stop clocks for the change, so something has changed and IMO it’s fairly idiotic to drop the means of timing when the car stops and moves off again.

      2. FOM footage is always wrong, it is very noticeable to the naked eye, it’s like if there was a guy watching the pit-stop pushing the button when the car is released. I’m not sure but I don’t remember seeing the correct time of the previous record being correctly displayed by FOM either.

  4. Anyone always going on about Red Bull being where it is because of Newey and Newey alone should take note of things like this. They seem to not only be on top in terms of car design but everywhere else as well.

    1. @electrolite

      Anyone always going on about Red Bull being where it is because of Newey and Newey alone should take note of things like this.

      Hear, hear. They were drilling these like crazy while I was at the Jerez test.

    2. “However, rather than chasing individual times, improving consistency is always the thing coveted by the crew: breaking records is merely the consequence of doing that well.”

      The fact that they broke the record, and did so 5 times in one race shows they are a force to recon with. I’ve not really been a Red Bull fan, but i’m now a fan of their pit crew!

      1. @timtoo – I wonder if this is at all related to their adoption of the McLaren-style light system. They could have been this good for ages for all we know and that getting rid of the lollipop man has just instantly made them half a second faster! ;)

        1. i see what you mean but i think it is not a Mclaren system, i do remember in 2010 Mclaren were still using lollipop and Ferrari using that kind of system, it is true that this system is around half a second faster but that’s not the main reason why pit stops improved this year, i think that maybe it has something to do with the wheel gun because they changed this year, i think last year the wheel guns used to use “helium” to work they changed it to reduce costs, i’m not sure if it is replaced with hydrogen or another gas but i think that this has maybe a direct impact on the pit stops times

          1. I thought they had switched from helium to normal compressed air as a cost cutting measure? and that the compressed air is actually a fraction slower (would need a source to verify though). The lighting system would certainly increase potential for faster stops.

            What I (and most likely the rest of us) want to see is the actual pit stop time, not just the entire length of the pit lane, as that time changes from race to race, the key time that everyone wants to know is the actual pit stop time. Its fantastic that F1Fanatic covers it, but its a shame its not actually displayed during the race itself, with F1 being so technical now, why can’t we have this displayed on the international feed? they used to have it, why did they can it?

          2. I think hydrogen is a great idea, flame throwing wheel guns would be really entertaining !!

    3. +1

      Great comment.

    4. Here’s a very interesting article from German AMuS where they have looked at it more in detail, and discussed with some (i guess others were not willing to discuss it openly) other teams what they think of it.

      Seems some suspect Red Bull use higher pressure, they might have some “tricks” helping the airguns be faster (and keep extreme care to keep them clean) and Williams have apparently observed that RBR might have stolen a march on the others with their wheel design helping to self centre the wheel, making it far less of a precise (and therefore relatively slow) job to put the tyres on the axles.

  5. I really don’t get the appeal of doing pit stops under 2 seconds: if you do it in 2.5 seconds, you lose half a second, which is the equivalent of locking up twice. You can better make sure you do it moderately quickly every time than do quick pitstops with a risk of screwing up (Hamilton and Button would agree ;). This is just another PR-thing, so let’s just ignore it.

    1. @andae23 Hamilton finished 7.8 seconds behind Webber and spent 5.8 seconds more than him in the pits.

      I bet he’s not telling Mercedes, “don’t worry, this is just another PR thing…”!

      1. @keithcollantine Well if you put it like that… :P

        But seriously, there is a balance between doing superfast, high-risk pit stops and doing slow and secure pit stops. My personal opinion is that teams like McLaren in the last two years and Red Bull this year are taking an approach that is too risky. You only have to screw it up once and the advantage of accumulating 0.5+ second gains in previous pit stops is turned into a disadvantage.

        1. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast

          1. True! And the only easy day was yesterday……

        2. @andae23

          Red Bull beat the record. 5 times in one race. You are right, super fast means nothing if they made a mistake…. But they didn’t.

          1. But they didn’t.

            @mike Not yet.

          2. They haven’t had the issues McLaren has had and they get out faster. Obviously they have it under control and the odd time they may make a mistake may cost them but right now it appears to be making bigger issues at other teams trying to keep up by getting an advantage in the pits and trimming fuel loads.

        3. @andae23 So far Red Bull’s pit stops are smooth, consistent and safe. I don’t know how you can criticize this approach. Slow and secure is nice, but fast and secure seems to be a bit better.

          1. @maroonjack I’m just pointing out that their strategy is rather risky in my opinion. At the moment everything is fine because they haven’t screwed up yet, but inevitably it will go wrong, possibly when an RB9 is leading the race. Compare it to a game of poker: as long as you’re winning, you will get praise from everyone, you get the feeling you’re invincible, start taking risk and suddenly you start making mistakes and lose money.

            Red Bull is going to ruin a crucial pit stop sooner or later, and when they do, I’m sure same people who are fully supporting Red Bull’s pit stop policy (like the ones commenting on my posts today) will say: “Yeah, they had that coming. They should’ve been more careful.”

          2. Red Bull is going to ruin a crucial pit stop sooner or later

            I’m sure that’s true, but every team – even teams doing “slow and secure” pit stops – is going to ruin a crucial pit stop sooner or later. Force India’s pit-stop nightmare had nothing to do with them trying to go too fast.

        4. You only have to screw it up once and the advantage of accumulating 0.5+ second gains in previous pit stops is turned into a disadvantage.

          That’s the point of the sport, about speed. That’s like saying why brake late so you can push car and driver to the edge and get the laptime when you can brake 100m or so earlier and safely crawl around the corner? Life is about the risks we choose to take.

          1. I agree @sirspuddington. Formula 1 is all about doing things faster and better. All about taking the previous best, and making it better. The sport is a constant and never ending quest of innovation, and that is what makes it so great.

      2. @keithcollantine To be fair, that would just be Webber managing the gap. He could’ve turned it back up if Lewis got too close.

        1. @journeyer And Hamilton was nursing a car that was low on fuel. And Webber wasn’t doing that much managing the gap – he tried to go after Vettel again at one point.

          1. It is a bit off topic, but since you brought that up, with all the commotion around Webber and Vettel, I have heard nothing about this fuel problem of Lewis. How could they have such a problem in a race that was partially run in wet conditions? I mean, if the whole race had been run in the dry, Lewis probably woulld not have seen the end of it – pretty weird, isn’t it?

          2. @keithcollantine Any thoughts on why Rosberg didn’t need to fuel-save anywhere near as much?

          3. @keithcollantine – thanks for the link! So they were betting on more rain? Balsy but insanely risky. Funny they didn’t try it with Rosberg….. looks like he is indeed a #2 there: If their bet had paid-off, Lewis would have had a clear advantage over him, but when the rain did not stay, they held Rosberg back anyway. A clear case of heads I win, tail you lose for Lewis.

    2. He might be telling them that @keithcollantine, but for last race they will tell him that driving into the McLaren bitpox would not have helped either :-)

      Sure enough though @andae23, just as with Aerodynamics, Engine and everything in F1, adding up a lot of small bits of time can make you the winner.

      1. @bascb Ah yes I’d forgotten about that – kind of harpoons my point!

      2. Maybe next time he’ll stop at Red Bull, because they are quicker.

    3. @andae23 At the end it’s the time stop/released that counts anyway. It’s quite interesting to compare those number with the pit stop time. For example the stop of Webber on lap 43 is 21 hundredths slower than his fastest but at the end the total pit time is only 3 hundredths down … That’s not much of a difference.

    4. In theory, unless they are using fancy equipment to do the stop a quick pit is free time and there is no reason why they arent all doing it. If i was one of the little teams id be determinded to be beat the bigger teams in the pit.

      I personally think all the fancy lolly pop lights and systems should be banned and every team have same equipment their disposal. Then its down the men on their knees to make the difference

  6. Can’t believe its taken since Germany to beat the record and by a considerable margin too.

    1. It was 2010 when Red Bull claimed they can do it 1.8s. And we are still waiting to see it :-)

  7. Is there a film of this with an independent timing system ??

  8. petebaldwin (@)
    3rd April 2013, 10:22

    Are pit-stop times published officially anywhere? It would be really interesting to see how all the teams stack up but I’ve never found the info anywhere…

    1. no, they are not published @petebaldwin the FIA only gives the total pit times out.

  9. Kind of irrelevant given the outcome. Hur hur hur

  10. Seriously impressive stuff, the likes of Red Bull, Mclaren and Ferrari can’t be too far away from sub second stops now.

  11. can anyone remember a Red Bull or Ferrari pitstop where they had a problem? like wheel nuts or something?
    I remember Red Bull had a tyre blanket problem in Monaco 2011 and something with wheelnuts

    1. All through 2010 they had their ‘sticky front right’ from memory. I kinda just expected it to be an issue every time RBR pitted!

      1. If i Remember correctly Redbull had a Problem with Front jack in 2011 British GP for Vettel’s Pit stop. Ferrari has Right or Left Rear Problem in Turkey GP 2011 with Massa.

    2. @mnm101 Austin last year, they had a problem with Alonso’s rear right tyre.

    3. Webber’s first stop in Australia this year; either the jack broke or the car fell off the jack.
      But the consistently fast times are testament to the pit crew’s practice and team work.
      Recently saw a documentary where hospital theatre teams were studying from the way F1 teams manage their pit stops.

  12. Like others have mentioned as well, this pursuit of speed does come with a risk.
    It’s brilliant as long as it all works well. But the fact is that there is litterally no room for error anymore.
    There is not enough time anymore for the pit crew to react fast enough in case of a small error or technical issue. The guy on Button’s front right did react, but by that time, Button had been released already.
    So we could see this kind of situation happen more often.

    On one hand, risky pit stops would be an additional element of excitement.
    But on the other, it is a security issue in the pit lane. Something that should be avoided at all times.

    1. The risk of beeing quick in a pit-stop is the same risk of beeing quick on the track, one error could be the end of the race.

  13. BradandCoffee
    3rd April 2013, 12:09

    Anyone know the times on the Force India stops? They seemed pretty quick.

    1. Please tell me you were joking… ;)

    2. i believe they also did in 2… minutes lol

      1. I’d love to know what the slowest pitstop ever is…

        1. That is still unknown, because the driver is still in the pits…

        2. @electrolite – one of the slowest I know of was Fangio’s in the 1957 German Grand Prix, which took one minute and 16 seconds but there may well have been slower ones that that!

  14. I see the Red Bull PR machine is working overtime to try and get us to forget…

    1. There is no way they could have referred to this without someone taking that predictable shot at them. The opening sentence of their article refers to there being “no shortage of talking points in Malaysia” so I don’t think it’s the case.

    2. I think it’s coincidental, but it could and it is probably an attempt to underline the good team work Red Bull performed in Malaysia, this pit-stop performance is rightfully worthy of mentioning.

  15. I wonder how long before we see the stops drop below 2 seconds?

  16. Can’t believe no one asked for a video of these stops yet! Can anyone share a link if they have?

    1. @guilherme FOM would probably take it down within an hour

    2. @guilherme – it appears there are none of the Red Bull record-breaking pit stops, but there was one from the Australian GP fan’s videos of a Ferrari pit stop, who were fastest in that race. I too want to see that 2.05s one though! It may have been caught on the race feed.

      1. Thank you very much @vettel1! That was an amazing stop indeed.

  17. If were talking about pitstops, i remember there was something about lasers being used during pitstops, would anyone care to elaborate on that

  18. McLaren had such a quick pit stop Hamilton wasn’t even stationary.

  19. Anele (@anele-mbethe)
    3rd April 2013, 15:34

    I don’t think fast pitstops are a risk…the fast stops are a result of being smooth and focused rather than rushing.mistakes will happen regardless of how fast stops can be

  20. I was skeptical at first that a sub-2 second pit stop was possible, but if Red Bull have indeed already managed a 2.05s one then my skepticism is hereby withdrawn! 2.05 seconds though – that is hugely impressive!

  21. I’m a huge McLaren fan and like many others I have a slight dislike for Redbull. But I do have to say the way they went around this is just perfection. I didn’t notice any mention of this after the race. Now look back to how McLaren delt with it last year, they were bragging like they had just won the championship ! yet another pit error had just cost their driver the race win. Redbull on the other hand come home with a 1-2 and then just casually bring up the fact they smashed McLarens stop ! Fantastic.

    1. @f190 – Red Bull are usually quite secretive about their performance gains, so perhaps their pit stops are no different! I think McLaren though just needed a positive after what was a generally dismal last season.

    2. Yea, these guys are just amazing!

  22. Does anyone know what methods are used for measuring these? I assume Red Bull themselves will look at telemetery, specifically the data of the rear tyre movement. But then that doesn’t allow accuracy 100%. Mark could have been spinning his wheels before they were on the ground, thus giving the illusion of a decreased stationary time. Unless there is a uniform measurement for everyone, by lasers or computer or something; these times can’t really be validated ‘officially’.

    In 2011, Felipe Mass had a pitstop of 2.2 in Canada according to the FOM display. It was never drawn attention to by anyone at any point. Which made me wonder if it was an error, especially as it didn’t visually look that great.

    1. @nick-uk – that is an interesting point: of course Red Bull’s times are yet to have been validated by the FIA or whoever judges these things. @keithcollantine, do you know anything about how McLaren’s world record pit-stop was measured and validated?

  23. Wow, I remember back in the refueling days when a driver had to come to the pits to change just the tyres because of a puncture, they would do it in around 6 seconds, and in 2010 they brought them down to 3~4 but even that is considered slow nowadays.

  24. That is incredible! But you also have to measure total pit lane time. I noticed that in the Malaysia, Red Bull not only had the fastest pit time, but their delta on the pit lane was even better. For example, Webber may have had the fastest time of 2.05, but Seb had a lower total time on pit lane of just a hair over 20 seconds (something like 20.2) where as I believe Webber had a best of around 20.5 seconds. I need to go back and rewatch the race to verify this as I wasn’t explicitly looking at it the whole time.
    But in the end, the driver has to be efficient in his time coming in and going back out as well as the pit stop itself. I was surprised to see Hamilton was slower for total pit lane time than his pit stops should have accounted for.

  25. @keithcollantine Why they do have wheel spin when released from the pit boxes? Can`t they use the clutches the same way the do on the starts?

    1. @cole I think it for warming up the rear tyres

    2. Like NMN, I had assumed they were trying to warm up their tires…but I’ve never heard anyone explain or comment on it so it’s just my speculation.

      By the way, GREAT site! My favorite place to check in when I start my day :-)

  26. Naah… Hamilton’s pit stop in the McLaren garage was far quicker. That was so quick FIA couldn’t even get a time.

  27. Why is so few only commenting on the very poor job Lotus is doing with their pitstops? In every single race last year and this year they’ve given seconds to their competitors just by being so slow with pitstops… Do they not practice this at all or don’t they see it as a problem (which would be even worse)?

  28. Force India is the new Minardi except Minardi never had the funding Force India has!

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