Analysis: Red Bull and Mercedes top pitstop league in 2011

Red Bull Racing and Mercedes GP have proved to be the consistently quickest teams at pitstops this season

According to data released by Mercedes GP on Tuesday, its calculations suggest that the fastest average times of the two outfits for every standard tyre change stop are equal ahead of this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Although Red Bull Racing has had the fastest individual stop at eight races, and the fastest average stop at nine events, the Milton Keynes-based outfit and Mercedes GP cannot be separated when it comes to the execution of every stop over the season.

The data, calculated by using only pitstop data from normal tyre changes - so excluding safety car stops or those where other car damage was repaired - show the two teams to be a few tenths of a second ahead of McLaren after the 885 standard stops so far this year.

Average cumulative total for pitstop times from 17 races held so far this year relative to fastest overall time:

1=      Red Bull Racing                 Best
1=      Mercedes GP                     Best
3       McLaren                         + 0.3s
4       Force India                     + 0.4s
5       Ferrari                         + 0.5s
6       Renault                         + 0.9s
7       Williams                        + 1.1s
8=      Lotus                           + 1.3s
8=      Sauber                          + 1.3s
8=      Toro Rosso                      + 1.3s
11      Virgin                          + 1.6s
12      HRT                             + 3.2s

The calculations for this are based on the overall pit lane time, as calculating the pure stop time for changing wheels is often only done in-house by each outfit.

The measurements for the pit lane time are officially recorded by the FIA and, for the basis of calculating proper pitstop time, the averages have been worked out to the nearest tenth of a second because of the variation in pit lane entry for each team - which can be as much as six hundredths of a second.

Mercedes GP's data also shows that itself and Red Bull Racing are well ahead of the opposition in terms of the number of fastest individual pitstops this year, and the fastest average pitstop times at each race.

Fastest overall stops from 17 races:

Red Bull Racing   8
Mercedes GP       7
McLaren           1
Ferrari           1

Fastest average stops from 17 races:

Red Bull Racing   9
Mercedes GP       5
McLaren           2
Force India       1
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