Don’t blink or you could miss the entire pit stop. It’s that fast.
Americans who aren’t regular followers of Formula One will be amazed by this video—it’s a far different scene than we’re accustomed to viewing. First, here on our side of the pond, NASCAR limits over-the-wall pit crews to six people (seven in special cases at NASCAR’s discretion). The IndyCar Series limits the on-car complement to six as well. However, over in F1 there is no manpower limit. Teams are permitted to send an entire regiment over the wall if they like. In this 2013 Ferrari pit stop, we think we counted 23 crewmen.
As a result, the pit stops are much faster than we see in American racing—this video shows a stop in the two-second range. At the Japanese Grand Prix in 2013, Ferrari claimed a pit stop of under two seconds, and Red Bull and McLaren have posted similar numbers. These times compare to oh, 12 to 15 seconds four tires and a full load of fuel in NASCAR, or perhaps 10 seconds for a full-service IndyCar stop, in round figures.
F1 pit stops have been depicted in video in a number of different ways, including in super slow motion. But in our view, this wide-angle overhead shot in real time captures the process in the most complete manner we’ve seen to date. That’s why we’re sharing it here. Now watch this. You’ll probably need to see it several times to take it all in.