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Pit stop record falls to Red Bull with 2.05s tire change

Apr 3, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia leaves after performing a pit stop during the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit outside Kuala Lumpur

Formula One pit crews are on the verge of achieving the first sub-two second tire change.

Red Bull lowered the record for changing four tires to just 2.05 seconds during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The team say they measured the time using the car’s on-board data which is the same reference used by their rivals.

The record time for a stationary four-wheel change was 2.31 seconds, set by McLaren during the 2012 German Grand Prix while servicing Jenson Button’s car.

Red Bull claim they performed five pit stops which were quicker than that in Malaysia:

Sebastian Vettel first stop (lap 5): 2.13s
Mark Webber first stop (lap 7): 2.13s
Mark Webber second stop (lap 19): 2.05s
Mark Webber third stop (lap 31): 2.21s
Mark Webber fourth (lap 43): 2.26s

But the ever-pressing need to perform faster pit stops took its toll on some teams during the race.

Force India recently introduced a new ‘captive wheel nut’ system for their cars which is designed to speed up pit stops by keeping the nut with the wheel during tire changes. But the system failed during the race and the team had to retire both cars.

Previous record-holders McLaren threw away a potential top five finish when an error in Button’s pit stop procedure meant he was shown a green light for a fraction of a second. He bolted from the pits before his right-front wheel was secured, the team had to push him back to his box and eventually retired the car.

  1. wallio - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Call me old fashioned but the sub-6 second pit stops where 4-tyres were changed, front wing was adjusted, car was refueled and the radiator ducts were cleaned was much more impressive. Bring back refueling!

    • icemanpjn - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:38 PM


      We won’t see the return of refueling for safety reasons.

      • etchedchaos - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:11 PM

        What safety reasons? Refueling was removed for the show factor, not due to any safety issues. They can easily bring it back.

      • apexassassin - Apr 4, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        You are correct. EU Health and Saftey had a lot to do with it. Same reason Mclaren are forcing their crew to wear long pants in the pits no matter how hot it is.

        Pretty sure this is very simplified but: the more you comply, the less you pay for coverage.

        @wallio: they stll adjust the front wing and clean the ducts… not to mention last year we saw 5 wheels changed in under 3 seconds and a whole frint wing change with tires in 7.

        @ all: 2.05 for a 4 tire change is just impressive no matter what anyone says.

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