Red Bull is leading not only the drivers' and constructors' championships in 2013, its pit crew is also the fastest in formula one. That is the finding of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, reporting that the average pitstop for Sebastian Vettel
and Mark Webber
so far this year took just 2.83 seconds.
"In the second half of last year we were on average three tenths faster than Red Bull," McLaren
sporting director Sam Michael is quoted as saying. "Now it's the other way around." Indeed, Ferrari
is in second place with an average time of 2.9 seconds, followed by Mercedes
at 3.06 seconds. Auto Motor und Sport said Red Bull has also recorded every one of the top five fastest pitstops of the season so far, headed by Webber's 2.13 second stop in Malaysia.
Mercedes, however, thinks it can go even faster than that. "We did a practice stop at the Nurburgring in 1.6 seconds," said sporting director Ron Meadows. "But, of course, practice lacks the tension of an actual stop during the race," he acknowledged. In fact, the speed of pitstops looks set to dip in the second half of the season.
After Webber's flying wheel struck a cameraman in the Nurburgring pitlane, the FIA is preparing to introduce a system where a backup row of pins on the wheel nuts will ensure a loose wheel cannot fly off a car. Auto Motor und Sport said Red Bull voluntarily trialled the system in Hungary, which promptly cost Webber and Vettel an average of half a second per stop. (GMM)
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