Pit stop record falls to Red Bull with 2.05s tire change

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Formula One pit crews are on the verge of achieving the first sub-two second tire change.

Red Bull lowered the record for changing four tires to just 2.05 seconds during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The team say they measured the time using the car’s on-board data which is the same reference used by their rivals.

The record time for a stationary four-wheel change was 2.31 seconds, set by McLaren during the 2012 German Grand Prix while servicing Jenson Button’s car.

Red Bull claim they performed five pit stops which were quicker than that in Malaysia:

Sebastian Vettel first stop (lap 5): 2.13s
Mark Webber first stop (lap 7): 2.13s
Mark Webber second stop (lap 19): 2.05s
Mark Webber third stop (lap 31): 2.21s
Mark Webber fourth (lap 43): 2.26s

But the ever-pressing need to perform faster pit stops took its toll on some teams during the race.

Force India recently introduced a new ‘captive wheel nut’ system for their cars which is designed to speed up pit stops by keeping the nut with the wheel during tire changes. But the system failed during the race and the team had to retire both cars.

Previous record-holders McLaren threw away a potential top five finish when an error in Button’s pit stop procedure meant he was shown a green light for a fraction of a second. He bolted from the pits before his right-front wheel was secured, the team had to push him back to his box and eventually retired the car.