Published By: Rohit Chatterjee

Formula 1: Pitstop Explained

There’s no Formula 1 without a pitstop crew. After all, they are the reason the car moves efficiently during the race. 

Formula 1 is one of the most-watched sports in the world with millions of fans. It is an expensive sport that requires several investments such as an efficient and fast car, a team of world-class mechanics, a professional driver and a pitstop crew. While much may think F1 is a solo sport where the driver is the hero, in reality, it is not. It is a team sport because the driver cannot survive a race without the assistance of the pitstop crew.

In this story, we will talk about the unsung heroes of F1, i.e. the pitstop crew. A pitstop crew comprises 20 members who are bestowed with different responsibilities to ensure that the car survives the race with no mechanical failure.

Entering pit lane

An F1 car comprises several sensors which allows the pitstop crew members to analyse the vehicle condition during the race. Once the crew feels the car needs certain changes, they communicate the car through the radio and ask the driver to enter the pit lane.

Standing at the right place

The driver needs to stop his car in the right position. Else, crucial seconds are lost. To ensure the driver stops at the marked position, the lollipop man stands with a marker. The lollipop man is the head of the crew whose duty is to oversee the entire operation. He also signals the driver to leave once the job is done. A lollipop man wears racing suit number 15.

Front jack and rear jack

The numbers 1 and 11 crew member handles the rear and front jack, respectively. Their job is to raise the car from both ends so the operation can be done. They keep an additional member wearing number 10 on standby with the same responsibility on the front.

Changing tyres

Firstly, numbers 3, 7, 14 and 19 are known as tyre gunners whose job is to loosen the screws on the wheels with the use of a pneumatic gun. Next up are numbers 2, 8, 13 and 18 who remove the tyres. Finally, numbers 4, 6, 16 and 20 put on the new set of tyres.

Stabilizing the car 

The remaining numbers 9 and 13 adjust wings while numbers 5 and 17 clean the visor of the driver.

All the above-mentioned operations are completed in less than three seconds. In 2018, the Red Bull Racing team completed a pitstop in just 1.8 seconds and for doing so, they hold the current world record for the fastest pitstop.