5 pit stops that botched a driver's race in F1
What happened at the F1 2022 Dutch Grand Prix was rather shocking for Team Ferrari as they looked in utter confusion when driver Carlos Sainz pitted for fresh tyres. This isn't the first time the team in red has come across as underwhelming and, from the looks of it, we might see this happen again.
"Oh My God" was Sainz's response and so was ours as despite qualifying in P3, the driver would sadly suffer throughout the race with the car not coming alive until the hard tires were put on. Though the race may not be entirely in Maranello's camp's hands, a Charles Leclerc podium finish will surely put some ice on the wound.
However, this wasn't the first time a team would've messed up their pit stop. Let's have a look at times when the pit stops proved to be disastrous for a driver:
#5 Alfa Romeo's F1 2021 Spanish conundrum
The Italian outfit called their driver Antonio Giovinazzi to the pits, which was the first car during the race to have pitted that time under a safety car. Though during the hustle bustle no one was sure why the team wasn't ready, it was only revealed post-race.
Giovinazzi was to put on a new set of Mediums, where one tyre turned out to be flat because of a valve in the garage. As a result, the F1 team wasted much of Giovinazzi's time in finding an alternate set from Kimi Raikkonen's side of the garage. The pit stop lasted for about 35.1 seconds.
#4 George Russell's maiden victory in F1 2020 snatched after Mercedes tire botch
No one could've seen this coming. After Lewis Hamilton fell ill to COVID-19, reserve driver George Russell was called for his services. The talented Briton that he is, he overtook Valtteri Bottas, drove sensationally to lead the GP, and was about to take his maiden victory when tragedy hit.
A safety car was called out as the race slowly reached its end. Team Mercedes F1 opted for a double stacking but accidentally put Bottas' tires on Russell's front. Though this was a radio communication error, Mercedes were indeed handed a fine. Sadly, though Russell's win was taken away from him back then, we hope the team makes amends for it soon enough this year.
#3 When Red Bull upsets Daniel Ricciardo at Monaco GP 2016
Daniel Ricciardo was looking good to win the 2016 F1 Monaco GP. But Team Red Bull F1 made a mistake unlike no other to cost him big time. The team responded as Lewis Hamilton pitted for softs.
However, they decided to go with Ricciardo's Q2 supersofts which were cramped behind somewhere in the garage. So when the 'Honey Badger' arrived, the pit stop wasn't ready, which allowed Hamilton to take the lead.
#2 Where Charles Leclerc's troubles exactly began in F1 2022
The F1 2022 Monaco GP's botched pitstop unlike others wasn't exactly a tyre problem for Team Ferrari. But it marked the beginning of their catastrophic strategy calls that would, later on, leave Leclerc handicapped to Max Verstappen's big lead over him. The Maranello camp called both Ferrari's for a double stack on intermediates, which were initially only supposed to be for Carlos Sainz.
Leclerc was told to stay out after he entered the pit, leaving him furious. This obviously granted; firstly, his teammate the lead and later allowed the two Red Bulls to undercut him and jump places. Now, this has been the Monegasque's story the whole season; who has been Ferrari's lamb to the slaughter.
#1 Carlos Sainz's 12.7 seconds of dismay at the 2022 F1 Dutch GP
The 'Smooth Operator' qualified P3 for the F1 2022 Dutch GP. But we all knew that Ferrari simply can't get a race right. The team's blunders have now got Sainz to lose out on places as well. And mind you, this was a big one.
The Maranello camp made the call to pit the Spaniard when his rear left tire was not even present, which took everyone by surprise as Carlos Sainz was left helpless. To Sainz's frustration, a Ferrari wheel gun was left out in the wrong place as Sergio Perez even drove over it. But that wasn't it, as the Spaniard was later given a five-second penalty over an unsafe release ahead of Fernando Alonso. Talk about a bad day!
These were some of the biggest disastrous pit stops that have happened in F1 over the years. From costing race wins to creating a mess for F1 drivers, pit stops are very important and need to be nothing but perfect at all times.