Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2016

Mercedes unofficially break pit stop record

2016 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Data from Mercedes shows Nico Rosberg’s pit stop time during Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix was well inside the previous record time.

But while Mercedes registered just 1.73 seconds for Rosberg’s stop, the official Formula One Management timing credits them with a time of 2.15 seconds – slower than the record of 1.92 seconds held jointly by Red Bull and Williams.

Mercedes’ chief strategist James Vowles said the team’s pit stop for Rosberg was “extraordinary” and explained the discrepancy between their time and FOM’s: “It’s what we call a ‘green light time’ so it’s from the point the car stops ’til the point where the car’s ready to go again”.

Williams measured one of Felipe Massa’s pit stops in the European Grand Prix at 1.89 seconds – fractionally quicker than the 1.92 seconds measured by FOM. That unofficially put them inside the previous record of 1.92 seconds set by Red Bull in 2013.

Mercedes’ time on Sunday shows an improvement of almost half a second compared with pit stops four years ago.

Rosberg’s super-quick pit stop occurred on lap 17 of the race. He was chasing team mate Lewis Hamilton at the time and although he made his pit stop one lap later than his team mate, and therefore did not benefit from the ‘undercut’, the rapid turnaround meant he rejoined the track over a second closer than he had been before.

2016 Hungarian 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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  • 42 comments on “Mercedes unofficially break pit stop record”

    1. The FIA should reduce the number of allowed personnel during a pitstop. Not like in eg. WEC, because that would force teams to pit less (and they already pit as few times as possible), but doubling the current 2 second stops would not make that much difference strategy-wise yet less personnel would allow more room for error and more room for improvement.

      There are about 20 people round the car during a stop now. 4×3 at the wheels, 2 adjusting the wing, 2 cleaning the air intake, 2 holding the car, one is just watching the car, and one is the “post-lolliop” man.

      1. min pit lane time like in Formula E? I don’t like it. It doesn’t reward crew who have practices a lot. Pit stops needs to be part of the competition.

        1. No, not minimum pit lane time but less personnel. Eg. 12-14 instead of the current 18-20.

      2. “The FIA should reduce the number of allowed personnel during a pitstop.”

        Why should they?

        1. I think it would be interesting to see pitstops with less personnel. They are getting closer to the minimum possible pitstop time.

        2. Perhaps because Charlie Whiting has decided not to pursue clearly unsafe releases in the pit lane (we have seen MANY of these lately), and because at least if there are fewer people standing in the pit lane, the number of people who are — eventually and inevitably — going to be hurt when we have a collision in the pit lane will be significantly fewer.

          Or better still, maybe Charlie could start doing his job again, and we could leave the pit crews as they are now.

          1. define unsafe release. Palmer ie was punished when they forgot a wheel. That’s unsafe. But just leaving the pits for a car on the pitlane without touching is not unsafe.
            So i am curious for the definition.

            1. Matthew Coyne
              27th July 2016, 13:43

              Any release from the pit box which forces another car to take some form of action (braking, swerving etc) to avoid an incident is unsafe even if no contact occurs.

      3. In a sport with too many random regulations already, I don’t want to see one more.

      4. Why?

        The stops being quick already means it’s a larger margin for error. If they struggle with a wheel and it takes 6 seconds rather than 2 that’s a 4 second loss, where as if you reduce the crew size so that the stops take 4 seconds and they struggle with a wheel and it takes 6 seconds they’re only losing 2 seconds.

        I’m open to hearing a convincing argument as to how smaller crews will improve a race but I can’t imagine any.

        1. duncan idaho
          26th July 2016, 23:19

          By allowing more than 4 teams to be economically viable – spend the money on the car rather than a flood of bodies?

      5. You forgot the two jackmen and their substitutes.

      6. Changing a wheel is extremely important and has to be done without mistake, and failure to do it correctly carries big fines and grid penalties. If teams want 3 people per wheel (or 4 or 5), then so be it, the rule book is already very clear: that wheel has to be fitted correctly. The last thing we want is the nonsense and confusion surrounding wheel changes like there is on what can or cannot be said on the RT.
        In 2014 a Torro Rosso driver was fined 30,000 Euros and received a 10 place grid penalty for having a wheel come off during practice. It is unclear from the report whether human error was a factor in this incident.
        In April this year a Force India car was given a 3 place grid penalty after a wheel came off (no mention of a fine in the news article). The report on the official F1 website doesn’t mention a reason for the inconsistency in penalties between this event and the one in 2014.

      7. I disagree, in my opinion the whole pit stop including pit lane should take as little time as possible, but at the same time having as little effect on racing as possible. I dont like when somebody overtakes by undercut or by having a 1 second faster pit stop. Overtaking should be on the track. Undercuts are only so effective because its so difficult to closely follow these cars at the end of the undercut stint anyway.

      8. If you make pit stops take longer, it’ll make teams less likely to drive flat out and instead, protect their tyres and 1 stop.

      9. I like the way it’s done in GP2, where each wheel has one engineer for removing the old wheel, putting on the new wheel and operating the wheel gun. It would make pit stops even more of a sport than it is right now. So one guy per wheel, than two for jacking the car, and maybe some extra for cleaning the sidepods, helmet visor etc. That would be awesome.

        1. @andae23 That’s exactly what I was thinking. Make changing wheels use four people instead of 12, to make it more difficult to add an extra challenge. Would love to see it!

      10. I think the FIA needs to crack down on unsafe releases and find a way to make the pits a little safer before having people run around a car while cars are coming and going with in inches.

        maybe they should ban pit stops, save the teams money and put everyone on the same tires for the whole race :)

    2. I disagree. its one of those little things in F1 today that makes your jaw drop. A friend of mine was watching last Sundays race with me and he was utterly bored. When he saw the first round of pit stops he was in awe of the choreography of the whole thing. Throughout the race he was asking questions and was more interested in the race. This may sound stupid but little things like that just put F1 in another world.

      1. Exactly. It’s things like this that makes F1 so special.

      2. Yes – they’re way more spectacular than the boring old fuel stops. But I think there are too many stops in a race, and the teams plan too much overtaking in the pitlane, which is dangerous and deprives us of action on the track.

        I wonder what effect the bigger tyres next year will have – maybe a few tenths slower at first, but I’m sure the teams will make it back within half a season.

    3. I swear Rosberg has faster pit stops than Hamilton. Rosberg’s are usually 2-2.5 seconds. Hamilton 2.5-3 seconds.

      1. Jippie another conspiracy.

      2. I would like to see the stats on that, i think you’re right, Rosberg usually a couple of tenths quicker.

      3. Maybe Rosberg is more consistent at stopping on his marks. I have noticed that Hamilton misses his marks a little bit more often.

        1. Yeah I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them analyse it on the tv coverage and Rosberg tends to stop better on his marks than Hamilton

        2. @blockwall2 – Could Hamilton consistently be taking more out of his tyres on his in-lap? Seems likely to me.

      4. You are right – Rosberg’s are always a bit quicker but there is no benefit in the pit crew costing him time. Even when he isn’t racing Rosberg, his take slightly longer so it must be because Hamilton doesn’t hit his marks quite as accurately.

      5. You’re right.

        Rosberg’s side of the garage always seems to be a lot more competent.

        1. Which was Hamilton’s team before

      6. To be honest from my observations they are always quite even, sometimes Hamilton’s are a few tenths quicker, sometimes Rosberg’s are

      7. There are 2 different pit stop times reported, the time in the box and the total time in pit lane. I have noticed that while Hamilton usually spends more time In the box, his total pit lane time usually lower than Rosberg. This could be due to less time braking into the box and accelerating out of the box. But it may well be his faster entry into the box that is causing a slower box time, possibly throwing off the wheel gun men or missing his mark.

        Total time thru the pit lane is a far more important number than time in box.

    4. FlyingLobster27
      26th July 2016, 19:28

      How many F1 pit crew members does it take to change a light bulb?

      …but it does only take 2.1 seconds!

      1. Awesome. Lol

    5. Here is my Simple Point…The Halo…Brought in on Safety Grounds…Run Off Areas…Brought in on Safety Grounds…Kurbs being Changed…On Safety Grounds…Refuelling…Being Changed on Safety Grounds…Yet when it comes to Pit Stops its perfectly acceptable to have a car coming down the Pit Lane at 60/80 MPH directly in the line of around 20 pit crew…now…I like my Pit Stops the way they are, I enjoy the mega fast pit stops…that part of F1 I actually like…but if we can stand here and talk about safety non-stop, and come up with more outrageous safety quibbles…why the hell has this clearly obvious safety issue never been resolved or even thought about!?…Just saying…Now I am sorry I have probably just given the FIA another brilliant idea to improve safety…but its true!…Now does everyone start seeing what a farce this is…on the note of the article itself…why does the FIA not have an official time, I am fed up with this unnoficial nonesense…I want an actual recorded time please! Sorry for the moan!

      1. The FIA does have an official time, but their methodology is different (normally slower) to that used by some of the teams. It comes down to the interpretation of what the actual pit stop is.

    6. I’m not having that, Sorry Mercedes. It’s a pit stop, and if the car hasn’t gone yet, it’s stopped…

      1. Maybe Rosberg was taking a short nap?

    7. The only thing I want changing is for the TV director not to feel compelled to cover every single pitstop even when that means leaving some critical racing.

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