What’s the new pitstop rule and what is going to it do?
The brand new rule for pitstops – issued by a technical directive – goals to gradual pitstops down. It does this by setting limits on how shortly totally different components of the pitstop will be accomplished.
Sure actions within the pitstop are now not allowed to occur faster than 0.15 seconds, whereas the minimal time between the wheel weapons being launched from the wheels and the visitors gentle on the gantry turning to inexperienced is now 0.2 seconds.
The rule was announced in June and was initially deliberate to return into observe from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards, however was delayed to the Belgian Grand Prix.
Why is it being launched?
With pitstops changing into sooner and sooner, the FIA has launched the rule to each attempt to cut back the chance related to botched pitstops or free wheels, and to stop groups from utilizing energetic methods to manage components of pitstops.
Vehicles with free wheels are one thing that Method 1 has seen earlier than and, whereas groups are often capable of cease vehicles from leaving the pits earlier than the wheel is totally secured, there have been instances the place a free wheel has brought about havoc.
The 2020 Austrian Grand Prix noticed Kimi Raikkonen retire in dramatic style when his wheel departed his automobile throughout a security automobile restart, whereas each Haas vehicles retired from the 2018 Australian Grand Prix following pitstop points.
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Group VF-18 pitstop
Photograph by: Sutton Photos
One other incident involving Raikkonen got here through the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix. An error throughout his pitstop meant he was proven the inexperienced gentle regardless of there being a mechanic stood in entrance of his rear-left wheel. Raikkonen set off and ran over the mechanic’s leg, breaking it within the course of.
An incident involving somebody exterior of group personnel occurred through the 2013 German Grand Prix.
Crimson Bull driver Mark Webber was launched with a free wheel and, as he pulled out of his pitbox, the wheel broke free. It bounced down the pitlane, narrowly avoiding mechanics from neighbouring garages, and hit an unsuspecting cameraman within the again. The power of the wheel knocked him off his ft, slamming him to the bottom and leaving him with a damaged shoulder and cracked ribs.
Which groups will this have an effect on most?
Because the rule is aimed toward slowing down pitstops, the groups with the quickest pitstops can be extra affected.
Crimson Bull have simply had the quickest pitstops in 2021, scoring 5 sub-two-second pitstops to date. They’ve additionally had the quickest pitstop in eight of the 11 races in 2021 (with Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Williams all taking one every).
Whereas Mercedes have the second-fastest pitstops on common, their common pitstop is nearly 1 / 4 of a second slower – Crimson Bull’s common cease is 2.57s, whereas Mercedes’ is 2.81s. With Crimson Bull being the one group to interrupt the two-second barrier, it’s extremely probably that they would be the most affected by the change.
Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing RB16B, makes a pit cease
Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
How have groups reacted to it?
Christian Horner and Crimson Bull at giant have, unsurprisingly, spoken out in opposition to the brand new rule. Horner mentioned that “F1 is about innovation and competition. Seeing pitstops sub two seconds is a remarkable feat and we should be encouraging it, not trying to control it, otherwise where does it stop?”, whereas Helmut Marko alleged that rivals Mercedes had been behind the change, “Mercedes is nervous and they’re attempting to gradual us down,” he mentioned. “First we had the rear wing factor and now they’ve labelled our pitstop gear as unlawful. However it’s all sizzling air.”
Talking in June, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff mentioned that whereas they didn’t actively ask for Crimson Bull to be investigated, they did ask for clarification on around the pitstops.
“We inquired with the FIA on a security mechanism, which is said to a system that we had been utilizing, and whether or not that may very well be optimised. That occurred, I might say three or 4 weeks in the past. And it was a know-how query.
“So did that set off anything? Perhaps. I don’t know. However that is the query we’ve requested.”