06/25/2021 at 1:37 PM CEST
The FIA has revolutionized the Spielberg paddock this Friday by announcing a drastic measure to slow down pit stops, citing “safety concerns”. The rule will come into force from the Hungarian GP, so the teams will have three margin races (the two in Austria and the GP of Great Britain), to modify their procedures.
Red Bull, which this season has perfected its ‘pit stops’ to the maximum and holds the six best stops -between 1”95 and 2”04- con Pérez and Verstappen-, it will undoubtedly be the most affected team for the change, although three other teams (Aston Martin, Williams and Alfa Romeo) have achieved stops below 2”15.
The speed of the stops has a lot to do with the possibility of achieving an ‘undercut’ or neutralizing it. Half a second can be the difference between gaining a position, keeping it, or losing it. And given the efficiency achieved by some teams, the FIA wanted to put a stop to the situation, considering it dangerous.
Complaint is that some shutdown procedures can be automated more than allowed. The technical regulation of F1, in reference to pit stops, states that the sensors must act passively. The article 12.8.4 points out that “the devices used to place or remove the fixing elements of the wheels can only work with compressed air or nitrogen. The sensor systems can only act passively”.
In a note sent to all teams, the FIA has reported that, starting with the race at the Hungaroring on 1 August, the stop procedures will have to incorporate tolerance for signaling human reaction times. The figures that have been set are 0.15 seconds from when the wheel nuts are observed to be tight until the jack mechanic is told to lower the car, and 0.2 seconds from when the jacks descend until the pilot receives the signal to accelerate.
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“For safety reasons, we expect the minimum lag time between the start of the jack release procedure and the OK signal to the driver given by the green light to be at least 0.2 seconds,” notes the FIA note. .