Red Bull has not only the fastest car, but also the fastest pit crew in Formula One this year.
With Pirelli supplying heavily degrading tyres this season, the efficiency of a pit crew has taken on a new importance. An analysis distributed by Mercedes has found that Red Bull Racing, the reigning and now back-to-back drivers’ and constructors’ champions, has left a grand prix event this year with the fastest pitstop time on eight separate occasions.
In second place is Mercedes, with seven fastest pitstops, while F1’s traditional grandees McLaren and Ferrari recorded only a single fastest pitstop apiece.
Red Bull is also leading the pack in terms of the consistency of its pitstop times, with the analysis showing the team changed its cars’ tyres fastest on average at nine of the 17 grands prix in 2011 so far.
Again, Mercedes comes a close second, with five best average pitstops (China, Germany, Singapore, Japan and Korea).
McLaren had the fastest average pitstops twice, and Force India once (at Monaco).
Overall, Red Bull and Mercedes’ pitstops have been 0.3 seconds faster than McLaren, with Force India (+0.4) and Ferrari (+0.5) next best.
Interestingly, HRT’s pitstops have been by far the slowest in 2011, a huge 1.6 seconds off the next-slowest pit crew, Virgin.
And the other new-in-2010 team, Team Lotus/Caterham, is mixing it with established names including Williams, Sauber and Toro Rosso.
“That sort of attention to detail is what separates the quick from the really quick and it is down to hard work, practice and attention to detail,” said technical boss Mike Gascoyne.