For most Formula One™ racing fans, pit crews are probably most often looked at as just another part of the racing scene. Although always present, the crews are easy to overlook when focusing on the cars zooming around the track at up to 160 miles per hour.
How crucial are the pit crews for Formula One™ racing?
Well, imagine this. You are a pit crew member, standing completely still, in a pit lane. You wait as a Formula One™ car races straight towards you. You anxiously await the car’s sudden stop, so you can sprint into exact and quick action.
This is routine for a member of a Formula One™ pit crew.
The crew, made up of approximately 20 people, is as key to the race as a driver himself. One small mistake, which could be as small as being centimeters off in where a member waits for the car to arrive, and the whole pit stop can be ruined.
The pit crews constantly straddle a thin line between being as fast as possible without making any mistakes. They have to take their time to ensure the safety of the car for the driver, but they have to do so quickly.
Red Bull has made a habit of fast pit stops. They are famous for it. They responded to a challenge in 2013 to see how fast they could perform a pit stop.
In the 2013 Season, Red Bull set a record with a sub-two-second stop at the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas with Formula One™ driver, Mark Webber.
Quick stops are important.
But is there such thing as too quick of a stop?
Take a second and think about what all has to get done during a Formula One™ pit stop:
Steps of a Formula One™ Pit Stop
2. New Tires
3. Any repairs
4. Mechanical adjustments
5. Possible Driver Changes
6. And any combination of the above
Over the years, the duration of pit stops has fluctuated. The stops changed when closed-circuit racing became the standard.
For instance, refueling at pit stops was banned for a period of time, starting in 1984. This caused for the pit stops to become a lot faster. Formula One™ constructor Benneton set a record of the fastest pit stop in history with a time of 3.2 seconds in 1992.
Fast forward two decades later and a pit stop of that time would be considered a failure.
Pit crews, just like drivers, have to hold practices to make sure they have all their moves down and can work in harmony with one another.
The measure of a successful pit crew is not just how fast they can work, however. A true characteristic of a successful crew is their consistency.
Pit crew members have to stay clear of any drama, any mistakes and any floundering. They are required to work in close proximity, and if one member makes a mistake, the driver's safety could be at risk.
See a 2015 Formula One™ Race!
You can watch the pit crews and the drivers return for the Formula One™ season, starting Mar. 15 in Melbourne, Australia. The 20-race series features circuits around the world, including Circuit of The Americas.
With COTA Experiences’ Official Ticket Packages, you can become a part of the Formula One Paddock Club™.
As part of the Formula One Paddock Club™, you have the chance to watch the races from an exclusive suite with VIP hospitality, complimentary food, a premium open bar, and entertainment! You can also have the chance to attend meet-and-greets with Formula One™ racing legends and tour the pit lane itself!
Get your name on the 2015 Formula One™ waitlist so you can be the first to know the Official Ticket Packages for the 2015 Formula One™ season are released!