The pursuit of the perfect F1 pitstop

The pursuit of the perfect F1 pitstop

PAT SYMONDS explains the nuts and bolts of pitstop safety in an era when Formula 1 teams are fighting to pull off the fastest services in the history of the championship

Incidents, like buses, often come along together and over the first few races of this season pitstops and wheel retention have become a focus of both the teams and the FIA. It started on the very first morning of pre-season testing when McLaren lost a wheel on Alonso's car. The incidents continued through the Haas debacle in Australia, the unfortunate accident that befell Ferrari in Bahrain, and a number of less visible episodes during practice at later grands prix (in Spain, for instance, Sergio Perez left his box without all his wheels attached properly during Free Practice 2).

Many articles have been written about the choreography involved in pitstops but little about the automation and safety of them, although the systems employed have achieved a level of sophistication that may surprise many viewers.

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