The secrets of Ferrari’s newfound pitstop speed in 2012 have emerged. It was reported recently that although the F2012 car is far from the fastest in this year’s field, it is being turned around by Ferrari’s pit crew the quickest at recent races.
Spain’s Marca sports newspaper reports that the main secret is an innovative wheel nut and wheel gun design, featuring a nut that is an inherent component of the wheel rim.
After the nut is untightened, the wheel gun is then used by the operator to yank the old wheel from the spindle. Previously, the untightening and removal of the wheel were two separate processes.
The other advantage is that when the new wheel goes on, all the wheel gun operator needs to do is pull the trigger on his gun, because the nut and washer are already in place on the new wheel.
Marca reports that Ferrari’s 2.4 second pitstop in Shanghai was an outright record. The system was pioneered by Mercedes late last season, but Ferrari appears to be the first to perfect it. The Spanish report also said Red Bull, McLaren and Lotus are all now working to perfect integrated wheel/nut systems.