Formula 1’s pitstops have been the fastest in motorsport lately, but the FIA has decided to slow them down from the Hungarian GP to improve the safety of the teams’ members.
In the last few seasons, some teams managed to perform incredibly fast pitstops, sometimes even too fast. In Formula 1’s technical regulation there is a rule that states that the pitstops sensors must act passively.
“Devices which are used to fit or remove wheel fasteners may only be powered by compressed air or nitrogen. Any sensor systems may only act passively,” says Article 12.8.4 of the rulebook.
The FIA wants the teams to follow that rule to improve safety during pitstops. Therefore, the teams received a letter that said that from the Hungarian GP teams pitstop procedures must have a tolerance built in that allows for human reaction times in signaling.
From the moment that the wheel nut is being tightened by the jackman to the call to drop the car, 0.15 seconds must pass. Then, 0.2 seconds from the jacks going down to the driver that finally receives the green light.
“For safety reasons, we would furthermore expect the minimum time offset between the initiation of the jack release procedure and the OK signal to the driver given by the green light to be at least 0.2 seconds,” this is the new rule written by the FIA.
The teams have three races to prepare and get accustomed to this new type of pitstops.