Fastest pit stop ever

Today was a potpourri of stuff; not much substantive as I had a piece to finish for another venue (more on that later).

Randy Schenck called my attention to a video here showing a remarkably fast pit stop; it took place at the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada. Randy said this:

I provide this very short video to show how specialized things can be in the racing game, particularly in Formula One.  A good pit stop is now considered to be 3 seconds or so.  However, this one is a bit faster.

You will note…so many people out there at the pit stop.  One guy for each tire, one guy to run wrench and remove and replace nut.  One guy to take tire when it is removed, one guy to put new tire one.  Just multiply everything by 4. Also a guy at the front to jack and one at back to jack.  So at least 18 guys?

Yep, it’s just 2.17 seconds: four new tires (no fuel addition, as the car carries all it needs for the whole race). Things have gone a long way since I was a kid listening to the Indy 500 (where pit stops also involve fuel) on the radio every year.

45 Comments

  1. ploubere
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    That’s a remarkable improvement over the last decade. Ten years ago it would have taken 10 seconds, and that was considered fast.

    • Posted June 18, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Ten years ago they still had refuelling. Most of the time was taken up putting petrol into the car (fuelling rigs had a precisely calibrated flow that could not be exceeded). Just changing the tyres took much less than 10 seconds.

  2. BJ
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    That was so fast I could barely tell what they were doing.

    Several decades ago, wasn’t about a minute considered good? I don’t know a lot about racing, so I hope someone can tell me.

    The other thing that stood out to me is the bravery of these guys and how much they trust the driver. If the driver stops just a few inches father away, he runs over the guy with the front jack. If he’s off by a few inches on either side, he could plow into the guys doing the tires. I was scared for the front jack operator as the car stopped about an inch from him. Amazing.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Just a spectator and mostly F1. They do practice allot and there are speed limits in the pit area so that helps. Not having any fueling makes it much safer but also, these cars have the best brakes in the world. They do still fuel in Indy cars and at NASCAR.

      • BJ
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Very interesting, thanks!

        • Mike
          Posted June 19, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          Not as fast as the little Fiat in Pixars Film Cars, which I viewed with my Grandkids, but fast enough

  3. Stephen Knoll
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Formula 1 & Indianapolis are very different, fuel stops are necessary for Indy cars, illegal in formula 1

    Crew size is 20 these days, Formula 1 explained here

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/formulaone/article-4401632/Formula-One-pit-stop-does-crew-work.html

    evolution happens very rapidly in race cars, to a significant degree, under pressure of ever-changing rules

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      That is a very good review of the pit stop and what everyone is doing. I had not seen that detail. As PCC mentioned, the changes in various racing are always happening. Just a few year ago they were adding fuel during pit stops at F1 but that stopped when they were able to carry all the fuel they need for the entire race. The big change that allowed that was the introduction of hybrid technology. These cars today burn one-third less fuel than before hybrids. And yet they now go faster than before, all because of the continuous technology.

      • Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Just a few year ago they were adding fuel during pit stops at F1 but that stopped when they were able to carry all the fuel they need for the entire race.

        I thought they banned refueling for safety reasons, after which they made the tanks big enough to go the whole race.

        • MAZMAINIAC
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          Not only safety, but there are limits on the amount of fuel consumed during the race, leading to highly sophisticated energy recovery and battery/electric motor acceleration assist systems that make them the fastest hybrids on the planet while NASCAR is stuck in the 80’s with carburetors and pushrod V8’s both obsolete technologies

          • Randy schenck
            Posted June 18, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

            NASCAR finally did away with the carburetor a few years ago but that is about all they have done concerning technology. What makes Formula One stand out above the rest, I think is the system, which is much different than American racing. In F1 it is all about the constructor and it is the constructor championship that gets you the money. The drive is just competing for a championship but no money is given for that. The name of the game in F1 is the constructor.

        • Randy schenck
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Well they did away with refueling during the race as soon as they achieved success with the hybrid systems. At first it was minimal and then a couple of years ago with the new 6 cylinder engines and additional electric power through recovery from exhaust they could do it. The cars today get more than 150 hp from the hybrid systems. The rest is from the engine and turbo charger.

      • Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        They banned refuelling in 2010 and the hybrids came in in 2013.

        Refuelling was banned primarily for safety and cost reasons. Incidentally, refuelling during the race was completely banned between 1984 and 1994.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          And sometimes rules are made before they make sense. That was the case earlier because in order to finish the race all the strategy was about fuel and the racing was compromised. They had to carry too much fuel and then dial back to finish races. That is no way to race – ask a driver. So, today with the hybrids and the fuel they can drive all out to the finish and not worry about running out. Besides – the idea of saving cost via the gas is ridiculous in formula one. Millions of dollars per car? I think the steering wheel cost over $50 grand.

          • Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

            Typically, an F1 car without refuelling before the hybrid era would carry something over 200 litres of petrol. For the hybrid era they brought the limit down to 100 litres and, in fact, in first year of hybrid racing, drivers were frequently having to turn down the performance to get to the end. In fact, it still happens occasionally. If you hear a driver being instructed to “lift and coast” it usually means he has to preserve fuel. The need to fuel save actually came in with the hybrids and then only because the regulations said you weren’t allowed to carry more than 100 litres.

            And the cost I was referring to, by the way, is the cost of the refuelling rigs, not the actual fuel.

  4. Ann German
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    wow

  5. Geoff Toscano
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Impressive, but oh so boring! The most fascinating part of the F1 GP is the pit stop. Is it needed? Can it be avoided? How quickly did they change the tyres? Speeding penalties on exit? Now that overtaking is all but impossible between the leading drivers (slight exaggeration, but not much) the marketeers have taken over and everything is hyped…bar the racing.

    Compare this to motorcycling GPs or Superbikes!

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      All in the eyes of the beholder don’t you agree. You say so boring while millions otherwise say fun to watch and fun to know about. Millions think football or basketball is so much fun but I say boring. And if you do actually watch the races in F1 as is now possible today, you get to see it so much better and there is passing. Part of the rules and technology is to increase the passing but, I do not want to bore you.

    • Wunold
      Posted June 19, 2017 at 2:20 am | Permalink

      Most sports competitions bore me with only a few exceptions. When I still had a TV I occasionally watched billiard and sumo for their soothing pace, but the outcome of the matches never interested me much.

      Overall, I like doing sport myself way more than watching other people doing it. But I can find entertainment in single extraordinary feats like acrobatics, billiard trick shots, or super fast pit stops.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 19, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      I tend to agree. I like to watch MotoGP but car racing, not so much. Though I do think that among cars F1 racing is easily the best. NASCAR is dreadfully boring. It is fun to at least once in your life stand right at the fence in the middle of the tri-oval at Daytona International and experience the pack of cars go tearing by at over 200 mph. That is awesome. But the racing gets boring real quick.

      Even in MotoGP there have been good periods and bad periods. The last few years of the 2 strokes through the early years of the 4 strokes were very good. Most races were hotly contested. But when they switched to the 800cc limit things got less exciting. Then only the top two factory teams, Yamaha & Honda, had the resources to quickly develop an all new 800cc motor that was competitive. Then the typical race was a bit of a battle in the first few laps, maybe, and then either Honda or Yamaha taking the lead and holding it for the entire race, often finishing a sizable fraction of a minute ahead of 2nd place. When they switched back to 1 litre that didn’t seem to change much.

  6. Posted June 18, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Also a guy at the front to jack and one at back to jack. So at least 18 guys?

    Missed two. There’s a guy on each side of the driver to stop the car moving sideways.

  7. rickflick
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I was most impressed by the drone which followed the car through the pit stop. Video from that perspective should be interesting.

    • Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      It’s not a drone, it’s suspended from an overhead wire.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        How primitive!

        • BJ
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Most major sports have had this system for years, from ice hockey to American football.

          • rickflick
            Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            I haven’t watched any sport for 10 years. Looks like they haven’t caught up with my vivid imagination. 😉

        • Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          Think about what would happen if a drone went out of control in the pit lane.

          • rickflick
            Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

            You’re right. I’d hope they’d have a backup drone. 😉

            • BJ
              Posted June 19, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

              *enormous pileup, men jumping out of their cars and running around on fire*

              rickflick: “Boy, I sure hope that drone is OK…”

              😛

  8. John Aylwin
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    There’s also a guy with oven gloves who gives the rear spoiler a bit of a wipe. I could do that.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      you’re hired!

    • Wunold
      Posted June 19, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      I noticed that one too and wondered, is he [i]really[/i] only polishing the spoiler? And if so, why only that small portion? Did the team really notice an unacceptable stain during the race and instructed the guy accordingly?

      Then, my thoughts went beyond reason: Maybe it’s only a kind of good luck ritual, or a job that made sense decades ago and no one changed it until today, even after it became obsolete. I’m working in administration and we’ve plenty of those “zombie jobs”. 😉

      If anyone knows more about this, please end our agonizing bewilderment.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 19, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        Curious indeed. I went frame by frame looking for clues…nothing. The glove looks like a wide sponge affair. Could there be enough bug splatter to hold that machine back? I can only guess there’s a transparent airfoil that the driver has to see through for a rear view, but it’s hard to make out.

        • Wunold
          Posted June 19, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          You have a good point there. Given today’s technology I actually can imagine that the cars have a special nano coating that can be impaired by dirt and gaining air measurable resistance at the area in question that may be detected and reported by the car’s advanced sensory systems.

          F-1 engineering is one of today’s technologies whose capabilities I rank closest to sci-fi, so the above wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Wunold
      Posted June 19, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      I noticed that one too and wondered, if is he [i]really[/i] only polishing the spoiler? And if so, why only that small portion? Did the team really notice an unacceptable stain during the race and instructed the guy accordingly?

      Then, my thoughts went beyond reason: Maybe it’s only a kind of good luck ritual, or a job that made sense decades ago and no one changed it until today, even after it became obsolete. I’m working in administration and we’ve plenty of those “zombie jobs”. 😉

      If anyone knows more about this, please end our agonizing bewilderment.

      • Wunold
        Posted June 19, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        Sorry for the double post, WordPress neither showed my post after sending nor an error message.

  9. Mark R.
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Holy shit! vrooooom!

  10. Pierluigi Ballabeni
    Posted June 19, 2017 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    I think the last time I watched an F1 race on TV Jacky Stewart was competing.

  11. nurnord
    Posted June 19, 2017 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    …and that is not the fastest ! There are several faster in this clip. Then, the world record; 1.92 secs !

  12. Posted June 19, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Holy sh!t. I suspect they practiced that once or twice before!

  13. Posted June 19, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Amazing what a deadline does!

  14. jay
    Posted June 19, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    ON a similar note, a speeded up video of hemi rebuild on a dragster between runs.

    Actual elapsed time about 1 hour.


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