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Formula 1 Pit Stop Record: When and where did it happen?

Red Bull made one of the fastest stops ever at the 2013 USGP
Red Bull made one of the fastest stops ever at the 2013 USGP
George Howson
Modified 04 Jun 2019

Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsports, where technology is pushed to (and sometimes beyond) the capabilities of mankind. Every aspect of the cars, drivers and teams are relentlessly worked upon and improved in order to gain an edge over the competition.

As they say, to stand still in F1 is to move backwards, such is the speed at which developments take place. Pit-stops are no exception to this rule, with the time spent in the pit-lane being just as important as the driver's pace out on-track. The record for the quickest ever pit-stop has been consistently falling in recent years, with the pit crews aiming to get their drivers out ahead of their opponents. With that being said, what is the current record for the quickest ever change of four tyres? The answer isn't as clear as you might imagine.

Two Clear Contenders

Felipe Massa (rear) and Mark Webber
Felipe Massa (rear) and Mark Webber's stops are the fastest off all time.

Ever since refuelling was banned at the end of the 2009 season, the time in which the pit crews removed and replaced the wheels and tyres has been crucial to a driver's performance. The limits of this process hadn't been tested since 1993, (when refuelling was previously outlawed) with McLaren then holding the record - under 4 seconds for Ayrton Senna. A stop under 2 seconds had been hypothesised for some time before the 2013 United States Grand Prix, but Mark Webber's Red Bull team completed a change of all four tyres in 1.923 seconds.

3 years later, however, Felipe Massa's Williams team completed a stop in 1.92 seconds at the European Grand Prix. Officialy, this equals the stop of Webber, but due to the difference in accuracy, (Red Bull timed to 3 decimal places, Williams only 2) either could hold the record. Although, this is further complicated by the Williams team claiming that their stop was actually 1.89 seconds, thought the official timings disagree with this.

Until another team beats the record, the answer to who holds it will remain ambiguous. With the larger wheels and tyres that were introduced in 2017, though, this may take some time, as it's now harder to handle the heavier rubber.

Who do you think holds the record for the fastest pit-stop? Is it Webber or Massa? Let us know in the comments below!

Published 04 Jun 2019, 19:45 IST
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