What Really Happens In a F1 Pit Stop?
Flightcase Warehouse works closely with towards mechanics in the motorsport industry, so we know that every single category of the sport requires a dedicated, passionate and highly skilled support team in order to achieve the results that are so highly sought after. To highlight the hard work of engineers down on the track, we’ve researched what a typical 30 second pit stop looks like for the top F1 teams in the industry.
Whilst an F1 pit crew will consist of a large team of mechanics, no single member is specialised in a single role. Typically, the members of the pit crew are handed out their duties based on their physical abilities. For example, the members of the crew in charge of the jacks and lifting the F1 car will be stronger than the other members of the crew so that the tyre workers (usually the more nimble members of the team) are able to work quickly, attainting the rapid turnaround that is so important. Like a well-oiled machine, one could say.
It may seem a little odd that these highly skilled mechanics are assigned their roles based on their physical attributes; however, the regulations are incredibly strict on what can and cannot be used in the pit stop. For example, the crew may not use a powered device to lift the car at any point during a race-instead the car has to be raised manually. Hence the stronger team members being assigned to jack duty.
The F1 car will roll into the pit lane adhering to the pit-lane speed limit (failing to do so can incur a cash fine as well as time penalties), and will stop in the designated area. This area is the only place in which a car can be worked on during a race, and the crew may not improve the grip of it at all aside from sweeping or drying. Once at a full stop though, the crew leap into action.
The car is raised up, and the tyres are replaced with blinding speed with the aid of tyre guns, each one specifically tailored to a wheel on the car. Once the tyre gunner has completed loosening the tyre, a second pit member will completely remove it before a third replaces the wheel with a fresh one. Whilst this is the main objective of the pit stop, there are other pit crew members stood by in case they are needed.
For example, the pit crew manager is in charge of the lollipop, which designates when it is safe for the driver to exit the pit area. The manager oversees the whole of the pit process, and it is only with his say so that the car is lowered, freed and allowed to leave. Then, there are other members of the crew who are on hand to either remove debris from the chassis of the car, clean the driver’s visor, or attend to any other possible needs that the driver or head mechanic may have.
Once the job is done though, the crew must return to their designated garage, as they are only allowed to be in the pit immediately before the pit stop takes place. This kind of quick and well-practised teamwork is incredibly impressive, and we at Flightcase Warehouse know that a good team needs to be supported by a trustworthy arsenal of tools. To keep your delicate instruments and power tools safe, visit our website to view our diverse range of motorsport specific flightcases, or email us to find out what special projects we have done in the past, and the bespoke options available!