F1: 5 fastest pit stops of 2018
The 2018 F1 season was an exciting one even though the race for the driver's championship became a tad one-sided as Lewis Hamilton ran away with the title, becoming a five-time Formula 1 champion.
Hamilton's incredible pace and consistency helped him win the driver's title comfortably over archrival, Sebastian Vettel. The Mercedes team developed a quick car for the British racer and a reliable one, too, which helped Hamilton to 11 victories in the season.
Since 2015, Formula 1 have awarded teams with the fastest pit stop award at the end of the Grand Prix for teams which perform the quickest pit stop. Teams also get points for the fastest pit stop in each race, just like in the driver's and constructor's championship - 25 points for first place, 18 for second place, 15 for third place, with the 10th placed quickest pit stop awarded 1 point.
In this year's fastest pit stop category, Red Bull accumulated the most points (466), while Ferrari and Mercedes finished second and third (403 points and 354 points) - the top three teams in the constructor's championship, highlighting the importance of a fast stop.
Let's take a look at the 5 quickest pit stops of the 2018 season:
#5 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - Australian Grand Prix - 2.15 seconds
At the first Grand Prix of the season at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took the win after starting the race in third position.
Max Verstappen had a thrilling race after qualifying in fourth position. The Belgian tangled with Magnussen which pushed him to eight in the early stages of the race, but a few quick laps and a fast pit stop of just 2.15 seconds in the 21st lap helped Verstappen get up a few places, finishing in 6th, just a second behind 5th-placed Fernando Alonso.
#5 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) - Chinese Grand Prix - 2.15 seconds
The Ferraris dominated qualifying at the third round of the 2018 Formula 1 Championship in China as Vettel and Raikkonen locked down the first two spots on the grid followed by Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in third.
But it didn't go in the Ferrari team's favour in the race as a collision with Verstappen put Vettel lower down in the grid, which enabled Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo to take advantage, while Bottas was aided by a quick 2.15 second stop by the Mercedes team in the 19th lap to get ahead of fellow countryman Raikkonen, finishing the race in second.
#5 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) - Mexican Grand Prix - 2.15 seconds
In Mexico, Hamilton needed to finish in the top 8 to secure the driver's title and the British racer did so with ease, finishing the race in 4th, while his championship rival Sebastian Vettel, finished in second place.
Vettel pitted twice in the race, the second pit stop, in the 47th lap took just 2.15 seconds for the Ferrari team to change all four tires on the four-time German champ's car.