Mercedes claims it completed an F1 pitstop in 1.8 seconds in China

Mercedes says it conducted its fastest pitstop under the current Formula 1 regulations in the Chinese Grand Prix, changing Valtteri Bottas's tyres in just 1.83 seconds

Mercedes claims it completed an F1 pitstop in 1.8 seconds in China

The move to bigger wheels and tyres as part of the 2017 rule package slowed pitstops from the start of last season.

However, in the Shanghai race Mercedes demonstrated that is now back where it was in 2016, while problems with unsafe releases for other teams have led to more cautious stops elsewhere.

In China Bottas pitted before race leader Sebastian Vettel when he came in on lap 19, and he successfully jumped the Ferrari driver, who pitted a lap later.

The official stop time for the Finn was 2.15s, but Mercedes says that by its own internal measure, the stop was even quicker.

"We were 3.3s behind Sebastian when we came into the pitlane in order to execute the undercut," said chief strategist James Vowles.

"A few things came towards us perfectly all together at the same time.

"The first was that our pit stop was incredible. In this new era we did a 1.83s time, based on our traffic light system.

"That's very quick, since Austin 2016 with the smaller wheels and tyres, we haven't done times around that.

"And Sebastian's stop was round about 0.9s slower, if you measure across the pitlane time, and the pit stop was around 0.7s of that. So already straight away you've eaten into his margin."

Vowles stressed that Bottas also made a big contribution to the successful pass.

"Valtteri's out-lap was extraordinary," he said. "We have a number of messages we gave to Valtteri, to make sure he knew what he needed to do, and it was like a qualifying lap.

"He executed it perfectly, he didn't make any mistakes. That then contributed to a couple of seconds gained.

"The final element is on the in-lap you can see Sebastian really struggling on those old soft tyres.

"They were still in a good state, they weren't completely gone, but you can see a few tenths' loss for them on the way in as well.

"All of that came together beautifully to allow Valtteri to come out around 0.7s ahead of Sebastian.

"It was an undercut, it was a pitstop coming together at the same time, and it was a fantastic out-lap from Valtteri."

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Series Formula 1
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Author Adam Cooper
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