The Belgian GP saw new rules being introduced for pit stops. The FIA introduced reaction times and safety mechanisms as part of their technical directive. Red Bull took exception to this, and claimed that these rules would be slowing their immense pit stop speeds, and would ruin Max Verstappen’s title campaign.
However, Red Bull face opposition on the grid itself. There are teams who are happy with the new rules. Among these teams is McLaren, who welcomed the FIA’s decision to guarantee safety during pit stops.
According to TheJudge13, the new rules overrule the high minimum standard times of pit stops. From now on, a wheel-gun may report a wheel as tight only when the nut has been fully tightened.
The wheel-gun cannot do it when the wheel is merely on, which was the practice on the grid earlier. When all four OK signals have been sent by the team, the traffic light mechanic is allowed to release the car. It must take a minimum of 0.1 seconds to switch the light to green.
The impact of these rules have been immediate, with teams struggling to adapt to the new changes. At the Dutch and Italian GP weekends, the average put stop took longer to execute.
It increased back to the levels they were at last season, which is not exactly progressive. There were failed pit stops as well, with Lewis Hamilton suffering a slow one at 4.22 seconds at Monza.
The other and more abysmal one was pit stop kings Red Bull taking a shocking 11.1 seconds to send Verstappen out.
McLaren’s Andreas Seidl expressed his views on the new rules, and said that his team welcomed it for its safety advantages. He also praised the FIA for its prompt rulemaking.
“The way we do our pit stops, we try to exhaust the possibilities, but also to guarantee the safety of our pit crew,” Seidl said. “(It is good) to not always wait until something happens.”