Zhou Guanyu, Sauber pit stop, Jeddah, 2024

Wheel nut problem which ruined Sauber’s pit stops ‘not 100% fixed’

Formula 1

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Sauber’s drivers admit the team has more work to do to prevent a repeat of the pit stop problems which ruined their first two races this year.

Zhou Guanyu, who lost 26 seconds in the pits when a wheel nut cross-threaded during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, said their race pace appears to be good but “we just need to clean up a little bit the weekend.”

“Obviously pit stops is the key,” he continued. “The boys have been trying to do the best to solve in the factory the last few days.”

The team hasn’t been able to make all the changes it needs to ahead of the third round of the season this weekend, said Zhou.

“I think it was clear that we need to redesign the whole equipment system for the pit stop crew,” he said. “Of course, unfortunately, we can’t really redesign just now.

“But we are making already some few adjustments on the wheel nut, the wheel guns, making sure the issue is solved. So fingers crossed that we can get it all going in a nice smooth way.”

The team’s fastest complete pit stop in Jeddah was over two-and-a-half seconds slower than anyone else’s. Valtteri Bottas says the fixes the team has made so far should reduce the chance of problems occurring in Melbourne.

“We haven’t fixed the issue 100% because there is a lead time for certain components and materials that we need,” he said. “But I think we should be in a better place.

“We’ll have more confidence coming to the pits this weekend. Fingers crossed everything goes smooth and hopefully that way we can have clean races and to fight for points.”

The team are yet to score a point this year and lie eighth in the championship.

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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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