Marko: Red Bull pit blunder was ‘human mistake’

2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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Red Bull’s racing advisor Helmut Marko says that the botched pit stop that could have cost Daniel Ricciardo a chance at winning the Monaco Grand Prix was a ‘human mistake’.

Ricciardo was called into the pits at the start of Lap 32 but the Red Bull mechanics appeared to not have his super soft tyres ready to install onto the car, costing him ten seconds and the lead of the race.

“We presented the race to Mercedes,” said Marko after the race. “Unfortunately it was a misunderstanding. Not so right communication.

“We will investigate and find out, but it was a human mistake.”

It was the second grand prix in a row where Ricciardo felt that the team’s error cost him an opportunity for victory and did not hide is frustration after the race.

“We will check and make an investigation and then we can tell you more,” said Marko. “I feel really sorry and all we can do is to apologise to him.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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55 comments on “Marko: Red Bull pit blunder was ‘human mistake’”

  1. We often throw Williams and Ferrari under the bus, for poor strategy execution.

    But here id proof that all top teams make mistakes.

    1. @jureo They all do at some point. It’s only human.

    2. Two times in a row the quickest car+driver combo doesn’t win in Monaco due to pit stop error @jureo – Mercedes certainly isn’t immune either, proving your point.

      1. But atleast Lewis won, he was second most deserving.

        1. He’s referring to the Mercedes team colossal blunder at last years Grand Prix.

      2. but Hamilton had a part to play in the error last year.

  2. And around this circuit, these human errors cost you big. Helmut’s best move right now would be to buy Daniel a few rounds at the pub and start to rebuild this relationship the old fashioned way.

    1. That usually works with Aussies!

      1. Ross Trimboli (@)
        30th May 2016, 7:56

        Can confirm. Would be happy being shouted a few drinks if I lost the race due to a pit stop error.

  3. ColdFly F1 (@)
    29th May 2016, 16:20

    “botched pit stop that could have cost Daniel Ricciardo a chance at winning”
    no ‘could have’ or ‘a chance at’ needed in that sentence.

  4. There’s no such thing as ‘human error’, strictly speaking. It was a system design error, that the engineers upstairs didn’t know the mechanics weren’t reacting to a PIT call.

    Unlucky for Ricci, but the systems are a big part of F1. Wish we were told more about them.

    1. Yup. There’s should be some kind of monitoring device and/or alarm bell/light to alert mechanics.

      1. I don’t blame mechanics. The race was so eventful and exciting to watch they obviously forgot they’re part of it.

    2. @lockup A keen insight, one that is missing from most discussions of all kinds of race mistakes, including the oft-used descriptor “freak accident.” They both mean “we overlooked something important that we didn’t expect to cause a problem.”

    3. Might be unique to Monaco as the race engineers don’t sit across the pit lane but above and might not be able to visually confirm the actions of or use hand signals with the pit crew.

      I am sure someone on this site can tell you precisely how much money was lost by Red Bull today… I am sure the money lost makes any number of ‘communication improvement’ solutions seem like fractional pennies on the dollar.

      I suggest a mega-yacht parked in the marina with a huge jumbotron that shows a live feed of the garage so the race engineers can see if the crew are ready.

    4. The jack men were ready and there were guys on the wheel guns, the wheels were off and then they waited. It seems the instruction for what tires to put on didn’t get through. Also, there was a weird delay on the right rear that really lost him the race. The left rear was on fast enough for Ricciardo to still exit ahead of Hamilton. I wasn’t able to quite see why the right rear took so long compared to the rest.

  5. I wonder if they will demote the person / people responsible for the mistake to Torro Rosso. Seems to be the way they operate now. Who on the Red Bull pitwall gives the final say for this? Red Bull’s website mentions Will Courtenay as head of strategy.

  6. Typical Marko behaviour: break a toy when he likes the new one better. Welcome to Webber’s world, Ricci.

    1. If they did it to Seb in 2014, they’d do it to anyone.

    2. I bet he wont say one bad word about Max’s performance this week… 4 hits into the wall.

      1. Yes…he was slower than Ricciardo in all three practice sessions, whereupon he decides to try Ricciardo’s setup. And after a few laps on Ricciardo’s setup, he crashes the car. Not perturbed, Verstappen then looks to see where he is losing time over Ricciardo. Verstappen then tries to make up that time in qualifying around the swimming pool part of the curcuit, prompty crashing the car yet again. And just to ensure that he learned from his previous two mistakes, he crashes the car in the race itself, in precisely the same circumstances as in Practice 3.

        As for Ricciardo, the Red Bull team have in their stable the best Grand Prix driver to grid up since Aryton Senna in 1994. And they reward him by setting up with engineers and a supporting team who are a pack of incompetent bumbling boobies. It is very likely given that the actual Red bull car is now the second best car on the grid and that Ricciardo can make up the difference between his car and the Mercedes by sheer skill over all the other drivers on the gird, that this Monaco GP was the race that lost him the championship. In my four decades of following F1, this is the first time I can recall a championship being thrown away not by the car, not by the driver, but by the team behind the pit wall.

        1. What about 2012? You could make a case McLaren’s pit wall did just that for Hamilton. They certainly threw away a chance to be part of the championship.

          1. Also 2010 Ferrari pit wall blunder. You might have four decades following F1 but that’s of no use if you can’t actually remember anything that happened.

            the Red Bull team have in their stable the best Grand Prix driver to grid up since Aryton Senna in 1994

            wow, did someone actually just say that and believe it too?

        2. Jonathan, as much as I would like to understand your sentiments vis a vis Senna/Ricciardo, that’s a heck of a stretch my old mate….

  7. I dunno… seemed to me they were preoccupied with Max’s previous stop & were caught with their pants down, plain & simple. It’s obvious to me who they were focusing on more today. Shame… no denying Verstappen is quick, but he looked very erratic this weekend, & not at all on Ricciardo’s level. Clattering over kerbs, bouncing off barriers & generally mucking it up, while Danny Boy has looked absolutely sublime.

    1. I don’t think they focussed on Max at all. They also – wisely enough – gave Ricciardo the best engine. They let him down big time at the pitstop – they gift wrapped the victory and handed it to Lewis on a golden plate, while Ricciardo was choking on his tongue. And if he had been Vettel, he would have scolded Lewis on the podium, or after, for the incident where he almost pushed Ric in the wall. If it had been Senna or Schu, they had probably been out of the race both of them at that incident and then I think Lewis would have been punished.
      Honestly I thought RBR would have come up with some lame excuse as to why it happened, instead of admitting it was a human error.

      1. Can’t believe Lewis wasn’t asked at the press conference why he moved over when Ric was alongside when that would have caused a huge crash. He’s a walker pure a simple and is becoming like Schumacher – win at all costs. If they were only squabbling for 4th and 5th he would have at least got a reprimand or time penalty. Redbull on the brink of alienating a great driver and losing him to Ferrari at their peril

        1. I meant walker. You know what I mean. He was like a sulky baby when he lost out in qualifying. Go Nico for the title!

        2. From what I saw there was plenty of tarmac available to Ric, but it was wet and he wisely chose not to go into it which would indeed have resulted in a crash. The track limits don’t suddenly change when its wet bu driver decisions have to. Hamilton didn’t have to do much squeezing because while there was plenty of track, there was little useable track. I suspect that’s why it wasn’t a big issue post race, because on analysis there was plenty of room.

          1. Actually, Ricciardo did try to go into the space Hamilton left… & promptly hit water, & very nearly stuffed it. If you watched the replays, Lewis was still trying to gather the car up after bouncing over the kerbs. In the slow motion replay, we actually see him put the opposite lock on (away from RIC) two or three times while Daniel was lining up to try the move. It looked like Hamilton blocked aggressively in real time, but on seeing the replay, I understand why the stewards deemed it a racing incident… especially after allowing Rosberg’s more blatant chop last GP weekend, IMO.

          2. What I don’t understand is why Hamilton wasn’t penalised for leaving the track to gain an advantage? He skipped through the chicane, and had he not done that, would have found himself behind Ricciardo. Don’t know why he didn’t have to relinquish the place?

            The part about not leaving room – no trouble there. They were both finding it difficult to gain traction, and as has been said before, given that the next corner was a left-hander, not sure how Ricciardo would have maintained the place had Hamilton left him more room as I don’t think he could have gone round the outside at that next corner.

    2. Preoccupied with a car that was in the tail end of the points while the guy you handed the best engine to was in the lead?

    3. Commentary had RB crew in the pit lane, ready, the lap before. My guess was that if Ham hadn’t stopped, Ric would have undercut. So they’d been up, down, up in tight quarters… milling about, possibly with the wrong tyres in hands (they’d selected softs for Ver just prior), out of line-of-sight from the pit wall.
      Anyway, massive fu but maybe only likely to occur at Monaco.

  8. the driver does 99.9% of the work driving the car around very fast to a position of leading the race, then the team that stands around and does nothing for 99.9% of the race has to do its 0.1% and the botch it up completely, that is not a human mistake,, not in this line of work. heads need to roll for this, it cost the “red bull” team a race win – ie lots of price money lost, but more importantly it cost the best driver of the weekend a race win and lots of “sporting” loss for the fans and for Ricciardo the driver.

    1. 99.9% driver?!!

      What are you smoking…

    2. Luis de la garza
      29th May 2016, 20:02

      Wow! 99.9%? Really?
      You’re basically saying they the mechanics are useless. You are veeery wrong buddy.

    3. If a driver were to say this they might find themselves doing 100% of their own tyre changes, nose replacements and suspension changes on the next race weekend.

    4. It’s not a human mistake, but heads should roll? Whose heads if not humans, are Red Bull employing squirrels or something?

  9. Ricciardo will be spitting blood after this one……and rightfully so. Not as ham-fisted a mistake as Mercedes made with Hamilton’s car last year in Monaco, but no less gutting for Daniel.

  10. Can Renault now publicly criticise Red Bull for poor execution and failing to win them the race? 😂

    1. No, but TAG Heuer can…

  11. I’m sure Darth Helmut is demoting the ‘human’ to toro rosso as we speak…

  12. A very stupid “human mistake” Mr. Marko.
    And it cost another victory to Ricciardo.
    Two in a row.

  13. Does the human responsible for this mistake get demoted to Toro Rosso?

  14. Red bull: the best team strategically and in the pit. According to a write up here by Keith.

    And now this!

    And people wonder why there are conspiracy theories in f1!

  15. I think what we all learnt on the weekend is that no matter the result Daniel Ricciardo is the best F1 driver in the world. Future WC just give him the support!

  16. A human error ? That’s rich coming from the Droid that is Marko

  17. Red Bull made the same mistake in 2011 when both Vettel and Webber lost time for the same reason, but Vettel still won that race despite losing time in the pits, so this wasn’t the first time they’ve messed up a pit stop at this circuit.

  18. Why to i get the feeling he would be calling for “an unacceptable mistake” instead of “human error” if his new golden boy was the one losing the race?

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