FIA to force F1 teams to slow down their pit stops

2021 Styrian Grand Prix

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The FIA will introduce new rules forcing F1 teams to slow down their rapid, two-second tyre changes during races.

An updated technical directive will come into force from the Hungarian Grand Prix in August to add a series of delays at different stages of the pit stop process. This is being done to reduce the chance of a car returning to the track before all its wheels have been fully fastened to the car

The new directive, TD22A, refers to article 12.8.4 of the technical regulations which imposes restrictions on teams’ pit equipment. It is understood to target the clause which states: “Any sensor systems may only act passively.”

The purpose of the directive is to ensure wheels nuts are fully tightened onto cars during pit stops and to prevent mechanics anticipating the completion of different stages of the pit stop process in order to save time.

As part of the directive the FIA has defined in greater detail when the signal can be given that the wheel nut has been fully tightened, RaceFans has learned. Once this is done, the team can proceed with releasing the car from the pit box.

Under the new directive, mechanics’ reactions must also be above a minimum time. If a mechanic reacts to the completion of a stage of the pit stop process in less than 0.15 seconds, the sensor must register this as invalid, and require them to repeat their action to ensure it has been completed.

Report: Mercedes “don’t fully understand” reason for pit call which cost Hamilton win
Teams’ sensors also allow their mechanics to communicate when each stage of the pit stop process has been completed. Once the teams at all four corners of the car have signalled their wheel changes are complete, the traffic light may indicate the car can be released. Under the revised technical directive, 0.2 seconds must elapse between the final signal being given and the drivers being given the all-clear to leave the pit box, again to prevent anticipation.

RaceFans understands the latest rules change has come about as a result of questions raised by some teams over the speed with which Red Bull, among others, have completed certain pit stops this year.

Red Bull have won the fastest pit stop award in five of the seven races so far this year. Sergio Perez had the quickest stop in the French Grand Prix, taking just 2.04 seconds, 0.16s quicker than any other driver.

The changes are expected to slow down pit stop times by two to three tenths of a second.

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2021 Styrian Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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155 comments on “FIA to force F1 teams to slow down their pit stops”

  1. Only two to three tenths after all. I expected more, but surprising how this has suddenly come up, even though pit stops have been very quick ever since in-race refuelling got banned and that Red Bull has achieved sub-2 sec stops quite a few times.

    1. Well, those 2 or 3 tenths could have made the difference between Lewis retaining the lead or not after the first round of stops last weekend! Reading the headline made me fear we were in for F2 or Indycar style stops so I’m not too fussed. A bit of a shame though. The crazy fast stops are one of F1s wow factors.

      1. They also shouldnt hide the reason for it so obviously

        1. I couldn’t agree more.

          Reply moderated
    2. FIA needs to butt out of what has proved to be a safe and entertaining activity. Putting these silly strictures will likely cause unsafe stops as teams strive to meet them, rather than concentrating on the job at hand.

      Reply moderated
    3. Anyone check this out with DHL? I thought FIA needs sponsors….

      Reply moderated
  2. Requiring mechanics to work slower by a few tenths or hundredths of a second just feels counterintuitive.

    1. The tone of the article has been chosen to focus on Red Bull, but really this is a concern that has been raised across a number of teams over the years.

      For quite a few years, we have had fans commenting that they felt that, whilst impressive, the very fast pit stops were also continually teetering on the brink of an accident – more than a few mechanics have been injured over the years – and that the quest to gain those minor advantages in a pit stop was causing a fairly significant spending war, running counter to the ethos of wanting to cut costs.

      Reply moderated
    2. Coventry Climax
      24th June 2021, 21:44

      The FIA consists solely of Chanoch Nissany’s: “This car has too much grip!” or now: “This pitstop is too fast!”
      It’s getting out of hand with all these pointless -and pointlessly complicated and unclear- gadgets, rules, directives and meddling of mr. Todt and Masi & co. (or should I write that as ‘Mazi’?).
      I don’t think there’s many that saw this one -about the pitstops- coming, and it is indeed fully pointless, given the amount of serious accidents caused by too fast pitstops and/or wheels coming off.
      Being fastest used to be the exact point of F1, but apparently not anymore and I can’t take the FIA serious anymore.

      I’ve said it before, the point is very near that I will say goodbye to F1. Followed it since the 60’s and it used to be good fun. I don’t even give a hoot wether they succeed in finding new fans. They just like to use the name to give it some sense of authenticity and history, but it’s not really F1 anymore, and for quite some time already, actually.

      I’ve also said this before: I’m all for change, so that’s not the point. It’s the direction in which the changes go that I don’t agree with.

      1. I completely agree. When was the last time we saw a sub 2.5 sec pit stop that the wheel came off?
        F1 has lost me… this and sprint races for qualifying has done it.. time to walk away.

        1. Jacob Zijlstra
          25th June 2021, 9:21

          Indeed, mentioning red bull in this one makes no sense, those super fast or stops had one thing in common: no unsafe releases.
          There were some last year, but they were already slower, do these rules don’t actually seem to do anything about the number of unsafe releases at all.
          Seems more to slow down certain teams, than any kind of safety.

          Reply moderated
  3. ……And lets call this sport….Sarcastaball!

    1. I couldn’t agree more. “Car number 99 must slow its lap time by .2 seconds because it demonstrated oversteer in turn 3.”
      Since this isn’t April Fools’ Day, I can only conclude that FIA officials have been drinking lunch again. Blazing new frontiers in stupidity should be left to professionals… like politicians. Ample consequences already exist for releasing a car without the wheel nuts properly fastened.
      What part of “racing” do these people not understand?

      1. The part where cash isn`t pouring in from sore losers.
        Well said btw

      2. That means we get cruise control and AI as drivers? This is ridiculus to add if they are serious about safety there should be only 3 monteurs for 4 tyres so you get pitstops of 30 seconds.

  4. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    24th June 2021, 17:29

    Oh what? This is hilariously ridiculous. Given Red Bull seem to be the only ones able to consistently do those fantastically quick pit stops and get the cars out safely this seems largely targetted at just them. Also as much of that is down to practice and skill and if other teams are failing at it that’s their issue I’m surprised they’re trying to enforce something like this. Disappointing.

    1. @rocketpanda My first reaction too. Was not expecting to hear in racing ‘you’re going too fast for us.’ For the scarce number of unsafe wheel releases there are, I don’t get why this is an issue. Not sure what RBR are doing wrong other than doing it right. They seem to be able to be not only quick but accurate. I would understand if those bringing this up had a point from them having too many incidents of releasing cars without the wheel properly attached, but they just don’t. I agree, disappointing.

    2. Mercedes have been crying about this after the flexi wing saga. They are the most pathatic team in the history of F1. Oh bohoo after 7 years of utter dominance we no longer a second advantage over our closest competitors, lets cry about everything the do faster then us… I hope they never win a chempionchip again

      Reply moderated
    3. @rocketpanda I couldn’t agree more.

      It’s not RBR’s fault they’re faster than other teams, just like it’s not Mercedes fault that they built a better car/PU than others for the past few seasons.

      The number of loose wheels we’ve had has hardly been a scourge and has generally been from a slower pit stop anyway.

      Got absolutely no idea what brought this stupid directive about

  5. How many times have Red Bull sent a car onto track with a loose wheel?

    It has happened, but far less than other teams who are far slower.

    Seems like their speed isn’t an issue.

    1. @mrcento I only recall Webber at Nurburgring, so once since 2010.

      1. Yeah, Red Bull doesn’t really lend itself to being the cautionary tale about security before speed here I agree @jerejj and @mrcento; At most I guess the argument could be how others fumble when they try and get to that level (esp. consistently) but, hm.

        Well, it’s a rule now, so guess we’ll have to live with it. Still, even though Indycar has quite a few rules that work together to make their stops slower, not like they don’t have problems that make things risky.

        1. Security before speed! Good grief!

        2. And even with added time of IndyCar pits, the one real accident of this years Indy 500 was a wheel coming off leaving the pits. You can’t legislate everything, Stuff Happens…. And really confusing is that F1 feels the need to go after the only challenger Merc has had in 7+ years… just beyond me. Crazy world these days.

  6. Makes sense that there’d be a safety concern, and the impact on pit stop times is less than I expected. The 2 second pit stop, when broken into its individual steps, really doesn’t account for human reaction time enough. Thankfully they’ve taken this route instead of minimum pit stop times!

    1. I don’t really understand the safety issue. The past 2-3 seasons I can’t remember a single issue with Red Bull releasing it’s car with loose tyres. It happened to others teams, but they were already slower. Bit strange to come up with this now.

      1. @mosquito I can’t remember that either. If they found a way to do it properly faster than the others, so be it…

  7. One has to wonder if this is perhaps down to a certain team, naming no names, being annoyed by how fast one of their competitor’s can complete a pit stop, having lost at least one race win and some good results elsewhere by slow pit stops.

    I mean it’s pure speculation on my part but after the rear wings this does seem a bit suspicious.

    1. TOTO definitely cried Wolff because his pit crew is not as good as RB.

      1. LOL great comment

        Reply moderated
    2. @randommallard no speculation. As i said some days ago. marko told Servus tv that Toto ask for this rule. They suggested Red Bull using illegal devices during the pitstop.

      So we now have the record fastest pit stop: 1,86 by Red Bull
      and the slowest pitstop (monaco) : 48 Hours by Mercedes.

    3. Sounds to me like; Team X, we don’t have the budget to engineer a faster solution so lets leave our system as it is and make others change, at their expense.

      These budget games are going to become a sad realty of F1 moving forward.

      Fastest, Safest, Cleverest should equal F1, not too quick, slow down:(

    4. Their wings flex too much! Oh… they’re still faster. Ok well their tyre pressures are too low! Oh… right…. Their pit stops are too fast!!!

    5. FIAMG to the rescue! Banning flexible rear wings wasn’t enough, so we need another even sillier rule! After all, this is a real security concern given Red Bull last released a car without all tyres properly attached 11 years ago.

  8. Jack Mccallum
    24th June 2021, 17:49

    The FIA do this often like mercedes with DAS etc. They are doing to make everyone equal. But also safety so cant fault it really

    Reply moderated
    1. Read what you just said, the FIA are doing it to make everyone equal…. WHAT. F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsports, where the teams go for the biggest prize in racing, F1 World Titles. F1 is not a spec series.

      And as far as DAS which, which was an amazing idea; the FIA let them keep it a full year knowing it gave a clear advantage. Proven it seems by Mercs troubles with tire temps this year.

      Mercedes has been asking for competition for years, while having a 2 sec advantage…But at the first sign real competion, Toto and Lewis just can’t stop playing the poor us card, our competition must be cheating. Innovation and Cheating are cousins, but not the same thing.

      Red Bull is good, but Max is the real deal. Without Max, Lewis wouldn’t have any competition. Checo is good, but Max is a once a generation type of driver.

    2. The difference here is, they didn’t randomly ban DAS mid-season.

  9. Cry-baby Wolff has struck again. If you can’t win, claim they are cheating.. what a miserable loser.

    Now let’s see if Mercedes will have to redesign their front wing as Marko and Co have urged the FIA to investigate the Mercedes front wing and the testing to ensure it is within the rules…

    1. Hopefully it is Wolff. I really need to see Horner bleating about this all weekend.

    2. w0o0dy… the gift that keeps giving. Never change!! 🤣

  10. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    24th June 2021, 17:56

    what a heap of bull

    The most of recent pit stop errors were not made by the fastest team(s).

    1. Monaco…..

      Reply moderated
  11. Now that Red Bull is the fastest car in the grid, they trying to stop them, just like Mercedes claim several times in the past years. Maybe their concerns in safesty is valid, but penalize the human react of less than 0.15 sec is denied the very essencial of F1. In any sports the main difference in theri success is the human capital and now the FIA says “if you are too good, you need to repeat”. Disappointing

    Reply moderated
    1. Maybe you noticed how many unsafe release Red Bull had…. 1 in 2010 Mark Weber! So if you reverse that idea is faster is safer so everyone need todo there stop within 2 seconds and if you slower 10 seconds penaulty.

      I think this is the most stupid rule i ever seen…… So i agree with you

  12. Great. Long time overdue someone investigated RBR

    Reply moderated
    1. Found Toto

      Reply moderated
    2. Yes, it’s about time FIA did something about Nurburgring 2010!

  13. More time to pit may mean altering strategies to favour one stops over two stops. Longer pit stop might be viewed as entertains, but could lead to gambles resulting in more collateral damages.

    Cars will likely start on tougher tires so they can drive longer before that one and only stop.

    How much extra time are we looking at?

    1. approx 0.2 / 0.3 of a second is the expectation.

      1. add seconds if they make you redo it due to a sensor saying you did that too fast. Going to ruin quite a few races, bet on it.

        Reply moderated
      2. If you go too fast, the you must re-do it over penalty could destroy your race, true penalty will be in seconds most likely. Gonna see a few races ruined over a rule change that was not needed, asked for or understood by just about anyone other than die hard Merc fans.
        Many loose wheel incidents the driver or teams are on it pretty quick often pulling over before getting out of the pits.

        Wings, Tire pressures, Too good at pit stops. Whats next after Merc find a way to lose in a car that definitely can win. We finally have a competition and everyone seems to think Red Bull have it in the bag…I just don’t see it that way myself.

      3. ok. 0.3 , even 0.5 won’t add that much time , so scratch everything i’ve said. It prabably within the delta between the fastest and average pit stops.

  14. 2-3 tenths? What on earths the point? If they wanted to slow them down and god forbid make it more exciting and unpredictable on the time front only allow 1 man on each tyre and put the technology on the wheel guns so it only releases the nut once its connected to the car?

    One day F1 will listen to the fans. I just hope one day once these sprint races have failed amongst other terrible liberty ideas we might get a bit closer.

    1. Well…let’s wait and see if RB slow significantly because of this first eh? If they do… they have some tech helping them. If they dont… theres no problem. Marko and Horner dont like it up em!! 🤣🇬🇧

      1. If this also fails wolf will find something new to “investigate”.
        Lets see, matte finish could result in a advantage.

        1. I am still waiting for the CFD analysis and Technical Thesis that shows how much aero benefit there is from the matt paint finish. Beyond potentially less weight.
          Ya want to make the racing more exciting … don’t slow pit-stops, speed them up somehow. If the Delta could be cut to 15 seconds, how many two or three stop races would we see.? Lots I bet.
          Not saying that it can be done or how it could be done, but longer pit stops (net delta time) will guarantee one-stoppers.

      2. I’d actually expect this to rather have an influence on the other teams who are fumbling stops trying to be as fast as Red Bull is DeanR, Erikje, @mrgrieves. I doubt it will significantly slow down Red Bull, but it could stop the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes, Haas etc to make blunders in their rush to be as fast!

  15. Ridiculous…Mercedes is the only team that seems to get their pitstops wrong in the last few seasons….I cannot even recall the last time a team released a car with a loose..wheel….This just seems to be a direct attempt to target RB who have perfected 2s stops while Mercedes cannot get their pitstops right..1st they target RB with Flexi wing rules..next with Tyre pressure….now their pitstop times..even though they have never released a driver with a loose wheel..MERC are UGLY losers

    1. Come on!! This is just Markos karma levelling out a touch! Him and Horner are just getting a backlash from the pot they continually stir. Alls fair in love and war… they dont like it up em sir! Hehehe

      1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        24th June 2021, 19:35

        How many new account are you going to make to push the same anti-RB nonsense. You’re even making the same writing errors on all 3 of them. At least try…

        1. That’s a pretty poor come back. Must try harder 👍🇬🇧🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

  16. Suddenly I thought it was April 1st… Seriously?!

  17. Why not just set a minimum pit stop time of, let’s say 5 seconds, so there would be no competitive advantage as everyone is capable of competing within the minimum time?

    1. Right, another good idea would be to set a minimum lap time to ensure that noone has a competitive advantage on track. There should not be any competitiveness in sport.

      1. Don’t suggest things like that, I’m sure the FIA is reading Racefans and taking notes

  18. Human reaction time maxes out at .15 to .2s. When you have a 2s stop you are beginning to sort of rely on squeezing that margin if you have consecutive/cumulative steps. I think the idea of putting a floor/ceiling on reaction time to the release of the car is worth a thought. Just like there is a limit for race starts (ask Bottas about it)—which is to avoid people anticipating the lights and having a major pile up potentially. But I have no idea how you are going to police this besides linking sensors to the wheel gun and the release light system.

    1. Okay, that’s the best way to defend this rule I have read @dmw; it makes some sense that way, but as you say, it’s sort of asking for trouble in policing too (penalties after the race for the team that just won the pit-stop award? Great idea).

      But, as @hunocsi mentions, wouldn’t it just be more straightforward to take the final step, making it clear that pitstop speed cannot be a competitive element which saves a lot of complexity and money in reducing everything concerning the pitstop. Not quite saying I am in favour of that, but it almost seems better.

    2. Is there actually a human reaction limit for race starts? I don’t recall exactly but Bottas has always gotten away with ‘impossible’ reaction times in race starts I believe.

      1. I think with that last superfast one from Bottas he was actually only a hundred or 2 slower than that limit, yeah @paeschli, that was why it was not deemed a false start.

  19. This is so stupid. It defies the point of racing. It’s no different to having a minimum lap time on the grounds of safety, defying the whole point of competition. If they don’t want dangerous pit stops then do away with them altogether, a-la 2005. Or if you want to slow pit stops to make them safer in a natural way then mandate a maximum number of pit crew, say 1 on each wheel, like Indycar do.
    As it is I give it a maximum of three races before the uproar forces the FIA to backtrack

  20. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    24th June 2021, 18:56

    has come about as a result of questions raised by some teams over the speed with which Red Bull, among others, have completed certain pit stops this year.

    And Toto ‘we like the challenge’ Wolff strikes again. His big team with hundreds of millions at its disposal can’t manage to do a proper pitstop, so other teams who actually prefer quality of quantity when it comes to hiring the best person for the job get put at an disadvantage. I hope Red Bull and Williams (among others) fight this, because it’s absolute madness. You’re literally saying: ‘This team is too good at what they do’. Downright pathetic

    1. That’s not actually what they are saying. They are implying that teams are exceeding the reaction times possible for a human. 0.15 seconds is right on the limit of human reaction time, without the aid of tech and/or drugs. Questions have been asked and the FIA clearly find something legitimate about said questions. I agree… we should not stop fast pit stops if these fast pit stops are solely down to human ability and not down to technology. On the face of it RB are exceedingly good at pig stops, maybe suspiciously good? The FIA clearly think there is an issue.

      1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        24th June 2021, 19:33

        >tech should not be used because it’s too safe and fast

        You do know F1 is supposed to be the pinackle of motorsport and tech development? It’s clear the tech at Williams and Red Bull work because they haven’t had a tyre roll off in years.

        Pushing the car across the finishline also removes the tech element because ‘it might fail’. It’s why they put an engine in it.
        Pretty clear you’ve been drinking too much Hamilton/Wolff-juice

        1. Hehehe yeh…that’s right. As you were 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

      2. Right on the limit of human reaction time? In F1? The whole sport is about running on the edge of human reaction time and pushing the boundaries.

        1. Which is exactly why jump starts are policed with sensors to penalise an anticipatory rather than actual response from drivers. The most recent example of this is Bottas at the 2017 Austrian GP, his start was lightning but deemed to be within tolerance for a reactionary response at 0.2s.

          Why should pit stops be any different?

      3. As long as cars are released safely, which Red Bull has managed for the last 10 years, why should I care how they achieve their sub 2s pitstops?

      4. I actually think the only way Red Bull can consistently be at such a level of pitstop speed, they would have selected their pitstop crew as athletes, testing and training them to always hit that reaction time mark to make things work.

        As @paeschli mentions, @barryfromdownunder, Red Bull have shown that they can do this safely and without issues. I guess the concern might be more for others trying hard to mimic what Red Bull are achieving and making mistakes on the way there, since until they DO manage to get a team together that can achieve the reaction times, they will inevitably run into repeated issues where someone is a tad to slow to make everything work smoothly.

        1. @bascb indeed all RBR pit crew are physically trained by RBR (strength and conditioning, as well as reaction times). But not just RBR:

          https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.gone-in-1-88s-putting-together-the-perfect-f1-pit-stop.3lLKnEoPKdJgACsUn9IltC.html

          1. Williams used to be regularly topping the quickest pitstop tables too until about 2 years back yeah @justrhysism. I am sure all teams put in a lot of thinking, measuring and training to make pitstops almost always within 3 seconds and often not much over 2.

            But the last year or two it has been Red Bull who were most consistently hitting that 1,8-2,3 seconds benchmark.

  21. Automated, robot based, tyre changes in pit stops. It’s the only solution!

    1. Coventry Climax
      25th June 2021, 3:26

      No buddy, that won’t work, because when it turns out they have come up with a technology that’s slower than what is used by others, certain teams and team-managers will complain with the FIA that the technology used by the fastest is so clever that it just must be fraudulous. And as they have apparently not spend their money on clever engineers or the training of their personnel, they have more money left from their budget that they can use to ‘convince’ the FIA the others are cheating.
      The only option is an intelligent, sensible FIA and an FIA with two, big, round ‘objects’ in their underwear. Sadly, that has turned out to be utopia.
      Mr Todt himself does not exceed the 1.60 meter mark, and in proportion to that, his ‘objects’ are significantly below the average size as well.

    2. I have seen those. I think it took really exact margins for parking, and it took a couple of minutes to do it with all safety precaution @tallen!

      1. Best drivers in the world, right? Parking accuracy shouldn’t be a problem! In all seriousness, and this was never a serious suggestion, maybe giving everyone the same gear for the changing of tyres would be the best approach. Same wheel nuts, same wheel gun, etc..

    3. @tallen ask Elon Musk how that would go. It’s the reason it took so long to ramp up production of the Model 3: Tesla tried to automate certain tasks which humans are simply better at. Like grabbing cables and plugging things in.

  22. “Some teams”? Definitely not Mercedes and Williams-Mercedes!

    Nothing new in F1. These are the lengths a top team losing their edge will go to to keep their advantage. Just a bit unfortunate that they feel they have to resort to this after having already enjoyed an unprecedented run of boring domination.

  23. Ridiculous. What safety reasons exactly? Has there been any dangerous incidents in recent history? Has the number of dangerous pitlane incidents increased due to suspected automation? Since when automation is riskier than human interference? Isn’t for example aviation a safer industry due to automation?

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      24th June 2021, 19:48

      They had to come up with SOMETHING to make it stick.

      Although they may as well have said because Jean Todt is an old corrupt man who is too slow to be able to process it. Seeing as that’s the truth…

      1. Well I had my doubts, but now you have capitalised a random word, you’ve convinced me.

  24. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    24th June 2021, 19:46

    >not spending 0.15 seconds to check if a wheelnut is properly fastened is dangerous
    >driving at over 300 kmp/h through a tunnel with a wall on both sides at 2m distance isn’t

    The timing on this is just too much to be mere coïncidence. If fast pitstops had been resulting in tyres flying off, then yeah, sure, I’d get it. But now? Now all of a sudden the maFIA wants to add a human factor by increasing pitstop time by a nuts (pun intended) amount. You cannot see if a nut is attached properly in 0.15 seconds. Meaning you’re still just guessing or trusting on tech. The time is only added to allow terrible pitcrews (like Mercedes’) to be a top player in that too. They don’t have to delay because they were horrendous at it already!

    1. Why are you so angry? Do calm down old chap. 🤣

    2. maFIA

      Definitely MIA, the F was dropped some fifteen years ago

    3. I mean, You are right, to a degree. But since we can now be fairly certain that it was actually Wolff who requested this, what if it is not so much about the FIA wanting to stop Red Bull being as fast as they are, but rather about all the others running into this limit of human reactions while they try and achieve the same (much in the way DAS was banned, to avoid others trying to replicate it).

      What if the reason Mercedes brought this up with the FIA had something to do with Mercedes own botched pitstops recently (and with others like Haas etc), that they found the issue was them trying to be faster than the people could manage and thus making mistakes?

  25. toto-the-dodo
    24th June 2021, 19:46

    Mercedes’ pit strategy has been compromised by faster pit stops, time for new rules.
    What a disgrace.

    Reply moderated
  26. This smacks of Mercedes getting very nervous about Red Bull. This safety concern strangely wasn’t an issue years ago in 2016 when teams like Williams were throwing down 1.92 second pit stops. But now 5 years later, we have a safety concern with those sorts of times. Loose wheel nuts are usually treated as an unsafe release in other series and result in time penalties, drive through penalties or stop and go penalties. They tend to be self policing though because a loose wheel nut typically results in the wheel coming off at the first corner and the car now either sliding off track or slowly limping back around the track to get back to the pits to put a fresh set of tyres on. Mandating a minimum time seems antithetical to the idea of racing.

  27. This is the dumbest thing they’ve done in a very long time.

    1. Agreed. I cannot find the logic behind this. It’s simply inane.

  28. So Red Bull are “too fast” lol. Whatever.

  29. This sounds like a Max Mosley directive. Completely irrelevant and just opening a can of worms, ending up disappointing the fans more than anything with ridiculous penalties for nothing, possibly deciding the outcome of the championship.

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      24th June 2021, 20:03

      Yep, which will then obviously be (from a Mercedes-fan point of view): “Even with the best car Red Bull can’t win haha”.
      Really makes you wonder if Mercedes would want to win a championship like this. ‘The one they couldnt win fair and square’

      1. Given Mercedes now have complete control over F1, Race Director, Stewards and the FIA I think its magnanimous of them to even let RB have a whiff of the championship. Don’t you?

    2. @balue This reads like an april’s fool news piece. Unreal. Nobody can deny, especially as it is written, that this is a targeted directive. Didn’t Todt just asked for less controversy in f1?

  30. I can’t but help suspect Mercedes’s recent 43 hour wheel change is behind this ruling.
    Aren’t the near misses with cars moving down the pit lane more important than this?
    We also have this ruling that sensors can only be passive, which sort of misses the point. There are lights on the gun that tell the user when the wheel nut has been torqued up to the correct value. Is there a place to link that light to the pit box lights? So, for example, only when all the guns recorded a wheel nut torqued to the correct value can the Green light turn on. This isn’t to say there shouldn’t be some human involvement in deciding if it is safe for the car to depart, because there could be some freak circumstance where a gun said the nut was torqued to the correct value but it wasn’t. Nevertheless, when you are asking people to make decisions in such a tiny amount of time I think I’d trust an active sensor a bit more than just a human, so human + computer.

  31. Another two or three pages to add to the rulebook. Oh, well…

  32. That is not such a bad idea, actually. The idea of slower pit-stops was mentioned within this interview, even if with somewhat different reasoning: http://www.gpfactsandnumbers.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/2021-Stevo-Eisele.pdf

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      24th June 2021, 20:38

      Different reason, same dumb idea.
      There’s a reason tech replaces people: it’s better and faster. For a sport that claims it’s all about the future to suddenly introduce such a step back is just madness. It’s literally only to punish teams that are trained very well so they are on the same level with people that only got hired to meet a quota so their team could parade with it.

      1. Ahhhhh… NOW it becomes clearer!! I get you now Barry! Understood! 🙊🙉🙈

  33. How about a 43 h minimum time for a tyre change? Merc seem perfectly able to do it.

  34. Victor Aguiluz
    24th June 2021, 20:41

    I’d like to see mandatory minimun 2 stop for all teams. That way all the cars would have to push flat out all the time.

    Reply moderated
  35. Still too fast to get the “lollipopmen” back from retirement.

  36. Yet more over-regulation.

    I look forward to the controversy this dumb, unnecessary over-regulation causes when a penalty from this costs somebody a win.

    Such a dumb & I bet largely unenforceable bit of over-regulation which will probably end up been done away in a few years just like many other bits of knee jerk, overreaction overregulation in the past.

  37. Ben (@sunnchilde)
    24th June 2021, 21:03

    Wouldn’t a better solution be to buy or design and deploy better equipment? In racing 2/10/sec can definitely decide a race.

  38. Martin Elliott
    24th June 2021, 21:09

    So FIA continues to demonstrate that its stumbling around for years trying to solve a real issue by guesswork. Indicators, special pins, etc.
    Now here they finally also, but not fully, recognise the various sensors available, but say they have to be passive. Not enable the next action or in linked logic to give a release indicator.
    The teams themselves obviously use sequence analysis along with ergonomics.
    As with systems analysis in aviation or process engineering the logic tree of the process could be easily produced. It could also be numerically constructed with the probability of failure of any physical component as well as sensors.

    Given the time since a Ferrari mechanic had his leg broken, one has to ask where FIA priorities, and capabilities, lie

  39. Surely this is a joke.

  40. More absolute nonsense from the FIA.

    Reply moderated
  41. Isn’t it a race? What a load of rubbish.

  42. What a sham. this is not the way to do it and sounds political. Want to make the pitstop safer mandate a minimum time, limiting the tools will only make it longer not safer.

  43. ryanoceros666
    24th June 2021, 22:15

    Ridiculous. Can’t wait for the next team principals press conference to hear reactions to this.

  44. archie windsor
    24th June 2021, 22:21

    I am surprised it took the FIA to step in to help Mercedes, since they are soundly beaten by RBR at nearly every pit stop.

    Reply moderated
  45. How many very quick pit stops led to wheels coming off?

    This is a solution for a not existing problem if you ask me.

    It goes against the competitive spirit of sport as well.

  46. This does not make any sense nor is it needed.

  47. This sounds ridiculous and very contrived. I don’t really get how any of this is actually going to work in practice when you’re talking about fractions of a second delays anyway.

    It’s part of the risk reward really and there’s been some great drama as a result.

    I can understand the safety concerns for sure but even then with the Halo it’s far less of an issue.

    They might as well just enforce a 4 or 5 second stop so teams would work slower and make less mistakes as a result, than this system that sounds unworkable.

  48. Next thing is to impose maximum speed at certain corners.

    Also… are all these things that they are talking measurable? The mechanic reaction? When it starts to count? And the “all clear” signal? 0.2 seconds? When is the clock stopped, when they start to lift the lollipop or when the lollipop is full up? Because this is at least 0,05s if not more. This directive is complete nonsense.

  49. This is getting kind of pathetic. Imagine dominating the sport for 7 years, winning 84 out of 119 races. And then needing this to slow down the competition..

    1. While I don’t fully disagree with you, RB are just getting a taste of their own! Lets not pretend they haven’tbeen been the main protagonists in getting Merc slowed down as much as possible over the years. Karma is a b i t c h! But it always gets you.

  50. Jockey Ewing
    24th June 2021, 23:26

    Fast pitstops are one of the most amazing spectacles for many.
    If they wanted to increase safety, why not they designed, or prescribed a procedure to follow, or even a homologated equipment. But most importantly, allowing, or prescribing some kind of tool which provides active checking for whether the tyres are fitted properly, instead of asking for a passive solution would be nicer.

    So if the end of the required waiting peroid is not signalled by some kind of tool, maybe there will be human errors: waiting much more or a bit less, and that will ruin some pitstops, in a quite bad way.

    Meanwhile, nothing guarantees, that it will slow the pit crews which are doing the fastest jobs more, than the slower pit crews. Probably some slower teams will struggle more, as fast entites are often fast because they can be reliable at the same time as well, so they can afford being faster with an acceptable tradeoff.

    So because of these, and for the many reasons, that I have read from many others, I do no really like this idea, even if the intention is good, maybe it is not the way.

    1. Jockey Ewing
      24th June 2021, 23:28

      … entities …

    2. Exactly, if they want to draw in more casual viewers, they should leverage technology to make it even faster. Every casual viewer I’ve ever watched F1 with was mesmerised by the pitstops.

  51. Surely the greater safety issue is the sheer volume of people in pit lane to carry out the wheel changes. Especially in packed pit lanes where entry into and exits from the pitbox arew restricted due to space. .

    To kill two birds with one stone, limit the number of people allowed into the pitlane for a pit stop to no more than 6.

  52. Rules, rules and more rules. It’s a control freak psychology which is killing F1 slowly but surely. And in this case for a problem which really does not exist.

    We have reached a daft position where any whisper of “safety” means yet more rules without further consideration.

  53. Penalties and fines would ensure wheels stay on. Last place finish first offense with $500,000 fine. Last place finish, -50 points for driver and team second offense with $1m fine, etc

  54. Perhaps they should do what Formula E did in its first year or so and mandate a standard stationary time which if I recall was about 30 seconds.

    That would make sure that pit crew could triple check each nut, wash and polish the car and even allow time for the driver to have a quick toilet break.

    Better still set up a puzzle table for the driver to hop out and solve each one before he can jump back in the car and drive off.

    Madness !!

  55. This is the only era in the history of F1 where rules have changed to allow champion teams to maintain their advantage.

  56. Next, FIA plans to introduce rules that prevent drivers from anticipating upcoming corners. Under the new directives drivers may not make any inputs until they can fully see the road ahead of them. This includes overtaking other cars that may block the view. It is yet unclear how this will affect wet races.

  57. Never mind the subject of the article – this comments section is absolutely hilarious.
    Anyone would think they’d just introduced a minimum pit stop time of 15 minutes.

    2 or 3 tenths is not the end of the world.
    I’ll bet nobody would even notice, were it not for the stopwatch on the TV screen.

    1. Having the possibility of seeing a new pit stop record established every race is one of the enjoyments of tuning in. Introducing a new rule to move us back 10 years when there are currently no safety concerns is stupid.

      1. The difference between a ~1.9s pit stop and a ~2.3 second pit stop is really that important to you? Even though this will effect every team (roughly) equally? Uh, ok… Small things amuse… you know…
        Remember Webber’s wheel from Nurburgring 2013? It could happen again.
        Don’t you think taking a moment and adding a concession to avoid a repeat (or worse) is worth it?

        It’s amazing how many berate the FIA and F1 for not being proactive – always being too slow to act or simply being reactive. But when they do something proactively, they face, well, this.

  58. It is ridiculous, I am afraid that FIA will tell me how much time should I take to go to the bathroom during Q3…

    Reply moderated
  59. Am I the only one who is surprised that this new directive of the FIA is only 2 digits behind the . ?
    Come on FIA you can do better in making yourself ridiculous

    Reply moderated
  60. Ben (@scuderia29)
    25th June 2021, 8:01

    “Ok john remember, when you put the wheel nut on, make sure you do it 2 tenths of a second slower”

    I know the pitcrews seem like robots but you can’t programme these guys

    1. I’m pretty sure you know this anyway but… this isn’t to stop john or Dave doing alot fantastically fast pit stop/wheel change. It is to stop sensors allowing the next phase of the stop to take place before the current phase has finished. So John and Dave are potentially currently having a sensor say they arein done fractionally beforeI they are done. Not quite as heroic that! Still… I think Toto has been saving this up from all the years he suffered from Horner & Marko scrutinizing and appealing every aspect of Need a car. What goes around…

      1. Appalling predictive text… apologies

  61. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    25th June 2021, 8:06

    Jean Todt a few days ago: Todt would “prefer less controversy” in Formula 1
    Jean Todt today: You know what? Heck that! I want to go down as the most corrupt French FIA-boss ever! Ballestre ain’t got nothing on me!

  62. Seems like a terrible idea to me, but if you were going to do something then 1) implement it for the start of next season, and 2) put down no minimum times but instead increase the fines or incorrectly fitted wheel by five or ten times, perhaps also increase the penalty to the driver (back of the grid perhaps).

  63. It seems a bit pointless. The time added to a pitstop is unlikely to impact a race.

    I would leave it as it is and let the teams run the risk of botching a pit stop, it’s on their heads then. It’s like when a few years ago, Bottas seemed to jump the lights but didn’t. Instead he happened to go a fraction before the lights turned, within the threshold of the sensors, and it worked well for him – but – it was a risk, had it been a tiny fraction earlier he would have have had a penalty as the sensors would have picked it up. There was talk then about a possibly penalty but the right decision was made and he was left alone, it’s the driver’s risk to manage. And I think pit-stop crew chancing a ultra-quick stop by risking assumptions is for the teams to manage.

  64. What will they ban or change the rules on next that Red Bull do better than Mercedes? Tyre pressures check. Fast pitstops check. 7 time world champions FIA will stop at nothing to get their man another title….

    Reply moderated
  65. Emily Groinpunt
    25th June 2021, 14:05

    Oh thank god! Finally, the FIA found a way to take a sport with a shrinking fan base and make it even less interesting. Maybe next year they could run every race at the “one pass per race” Circuit de Monaco. That would cut down on those pesky, dangerous overtakes.

    Reply moderated
  66. Why not cut to the chase and set a new rule stating:
    No car can ever be allowed to win a race, unless it’s a Merc
    And be done with it

  67. Kenneth Therkildsen
    25th June 2021, 22:24

    If they want less miscommunication they should automate some procedures instead.

    There’s 1 wrench per wheel. If you add an off button on the wrench which is synced to the the board giving the green light, the green light can’t be given too early.

    Reply moderated

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