April 11, 2013
World Record Pit Stop By Infiniti Red Bull Racing
In the time it takes the average person to take a drink of coffee, a pit crew in the racing world can change four tires. None so true as a recent world record pit stop performed by Infiniti Red Bull Racing at a Formula One race in Malaysia. Last year, a record setting stop was performed by McLaren with a time of 2.31 seconds. That’s correct, 2.31 seconds to change four tires on a racecar.
This year, Infiniti Red Bull Racing upped the anti with a new world record pit stop of 2.05 seconds at the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix. There were six total stops all topping McLaren’s time of last year.
Sebastian Vettel Stop 1 (Lap 5): 2.13 seconds; Mark Webber Stop 1 (Lap 7): 2.13 seconds; Mark Webber Stop 2 (Lap 19): 2.05 seconds; Mark Webber Stop 3 (Lap 31): 2.21 seconds; Mark Webber Stop 4 (Lap 43): 2.26 seconds; And a British team posting a 2.28 second stop.
Sebastian Vettel set a new world record in their first stop on lap five to beat last years record from McLaren. Then on lap seven Mark Webber, driver for Red Bull, matched the stop with his own 2.13 second stop. However, twelve laps later, Mark Webber set the world record with a 2.05 second stop.
This is the press release following the race:
“With no shortage of talking points in Malaysia, lots of stuff that would usually make headlines passed by unnoticed. For instance, despite the slippery surface and the concentration-sapping heat in Malaysia, we broke the record for the fastest ever pitstop. In fact, having reviewed the data, we’re pretty sure we beat the previous mark on five separate occasions during the race.
McLaren have held the record since last year’s German Grand Prix, where they changed four wheels for Jenson Button in 2.31s. We went under that in Malaysia with Seb’s first stop being 2.13s. Mark’s first stop, two laps later was also 2.13s. The crew then lowered the new benchmark to 2.05s when Mark came in again, and his two subsequent stops were 2.21s and 2.26s.
These times are all taken from the car data, which each team uses to record the stationary times. TV do their own rough-and-ready calculations, and sometimes we take timings off video as well, though for real precision the common practice in the pitlane is to use the car’s own datalog. Whichever metric you prefer, those are all pretty quick. It’s basically a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it blur of tires, wheel-guns and improbably balletic mechanics.
What you won’t hear, however, is anyone using the word ‘perfect.’ There’s always a quicker stop out there, and it’s possible this season we’ll see the magical two-second barrier breached at some point. 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.”