Ferrari certain F1 pitstops won't be any slower with restrictions

Formula 1's pitstops should not be any slower as a result of the staffing restrictions that have been put on teams, reckons Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies

Ferrari certain F1 pitstops won't be any slower with restrictions

As part of the protocols introduced amid the coronavirus pandemic, teams have had to cut back on the number of staff members they are allowed at races.

An overall limit on personnel allowed to work on the car has been replaced with a limit on total team members at the event - with the ceiling set at 80.

Furthermore, amid efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus if a team member is infected, teams like Ferrari have set up their own social bubbles within their squads - with the crews of both cars separated as much as possible.

The complications will make it harder for team members to work closely together, and garage jobs are expected to take longer than before.

However, Mekies thinks that when it comes to pitstops, teams will be just as fast as always.

"We now have an overall [personnel] limit which was not there before, of 80 people in total," explained Mekies. "So we had to cut mainly non-technical people. As a result, the pitstop operations and engineering operations are not so much affected.

"They are a little bit affected because through global responsibility we have tried to take as few people as possible to the race track regardless of the limit. But overall, you will not see a big change in the number of people involved in pitstop or in operations.

"We have reduced the numbers to do as many things as we could remotely. As you know, we have what we call the 'parallel box' here [at Ferrari], the remote garage, that supports our operations. So everything we can do, we are doing remotely. As I'm sure the other teams are doing, as are the FIA.

"But as far as the pitstops are concerned, you will see the same operation there."

The delayed 2020 F1 season begins next weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix on 5 July, with the Red Bull Ring hosting races on consecutive weekends behind closed doors.

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