Indian GP: Williams to make slow pitstops after wheelnut issues

Williams will suffer from slow pitstops in Sunday's Indian Grand Prix to ensure there is no repeat of its recent wheelnut problems

Indian GP: Williams to make slow pitstops after wheelnut issues

While there will be no changes to the car or wheelguns, personnel will manually check that the wheelnuts are fully locked and both of the mandatory wheel retainers on each corner of the car are engaged before the car is released.

This could mean an extra second or more is added to the pitstop times of Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado.

The team was fined on Friday after Maldonado's car shed a wheelnut following a wheel change following a similar offence at Suzuka two weeks ago.

"The only way we can be confident that the wheelnut is in position and that the primary retained is [engaged] once the wheelgun is finished is to do a visual check and a tactile check," Williams chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar told AUTOSPORT.

"Then he presses the switch and we get the green light.

"To do that, we will lose time, but safety is the priority."

Pujolar stated that the problem on Friday was caused by operator failure, but that the team will examine the issue in detail to ensure a long-term fix.

"We need to get a better understanding of what is happening," he said.

"We haven't changed the pitstop procedures, but it's clear that the wheelnut was not fully on."

Maldonado admits that he is concerned about the time loss that will be caused, although he is happy to lose the time in the interest of safety.

"I am a bit worried about the pitstops because we need to lose some time now," he said.

"Maybe if we are fighting closely with some other teams, we will be at a big disadvantage.

"We don't know [how much time will be lost] but they will be a bit slower than normal.

"It is better to do a slower stop than to have three wheels."

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