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Discuss the 2017 Formula One Australian Grand Prix here.

Plans to lower Formula 1 pit lane speed limit rejected by FIA

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Scott Webber, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Seriously i thought the Pitlane Speed Limit was low enough as it is, and some teams want to lower it even more? if they did their be going backwards.

    Formula 1's governing body has rejected a move by teams to lower the pit lane speed limit during races.
    Most teams backed a proposal to lower the limit from 100km/h (62mph) to 60 km/h (37mph) in the interest of safety.
    But race director Charlie Whiting has told them he feels there is no need to make the change as there is no evidence that the current arrangement is unsafe.

    The speed limit is 60km/h during practice, but is raised for qualifying and the race.
    The move was proposed following an incident in sportscar racing. A mechanic was killed at Zolder in Belgium last year when the car he was working on suffered a brake failure as it was approaching the pit.

    But the FIA felt that incident was caused by a mechanical failure rather than excessive speed.

    Their view is that there have been no pit-lane accidents in F1 that have been caused by excessive speed since the current limits were introduced.
    A number of measures are already taken to increase safety in the pits during qualifying and the race.
    No guests or media are allowed in the pit lane, apart from television pit-lane reporters and photographers under strict restrictions, and pit crews are only allowed out of the garages when they are getting ready for a stop.

  2. Chris Jenkins

    Chris Jenkins
    Driving til the wheels fall off

    That seems unnecessary.
    I'm surprised the teams would want that implemented.
  3. For a minute there I thought it said from 62mph to 60mph :D :oops:
  4. That would increase the pit stop time loss and therefore decrease the amounts of pit stops that are made. And I think last year has shown pretty clearly: the more, the merrier :)
  5. Chris Jenkins

    Chris Jenkins
    Driving til the wheels fall off

    That's why I'm surprised that the teams even suggested it. It makes their own lives more difficult with regards to race strategy.
  6. Perhaps the teams see pit stops as a logistic challenge which always introduces some random element (botched stops, wheel not attached, etc.). And if there's one thing F1 engineers don't like, it's randomness.

    Or maybe the
    were simply everyone except Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes (the teams with the fastest stops), looking decrease the advantage those three enjoy.

    Or perhaps we should simply take this at face value and just believe them that they are actually interested in improving safety. The pits are definitely quite a dangerous area. Most of the safety regulations introduced each year focus on drivers and their cars. The mechanics on the other hand are still exposed to the same risk since 1994 (when the speed limit was introduced). There have been some close calls, especially with two cars very close together and it might be only a matter of time until someone gets hurt...
  7. How is that an advantage?? Pit speeds if lowered will affect everyone exactly the same.

    It´s how fast you screw on the nut, not how fast the cars go down in the pitlane.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. On a 20 second pitstop, with 16 seconds driving and 4 second stop, pitstops will take 53% longer than currently - with the driving time increasing to approximately 26.67 seconds, and the whole stop becoming 30.67 seconds

    Thus, if you do a normal 3 stop as last year, it will take you 32 seconds longer, with a total race pit time of 92 seconds, as opposed to 61.33 seconds for a 2 stopper. Thus, MANY drivers would rather opt for the 2 stopper than 3.

    That's just to give a simple idea, if it were to change.
  9. Yea but still it´s equal for all teams. There´s no advantage or disadvantage given to any team just by lowering the pit speed limit.

    Even if a car is notorious for being kind on it´s tires it would still be the same deal if they were to do one stop less as they could do it today as well.
  10. True. It would just be more interesting for some teams who would normally do 3 stops, who would - with a 60kph pit limit - push for 2 stops instead of three, almost having the effect of what Schumacher had to endure at Montreal last year.
  11. Chris Jenkins

    Chris Jenkins
    Driving til the wheels fall off

    It just means that cars would have to create a bigger gap to the cars behind in order to not lose positions by spending longer in the pits.
  12. I think what most teams do is looking for a gap rather then trying to create a big enough gap to stay ahead of whoever is behind,
    All you need is free air for a few laps until the guy infront pits.
  13. If you're not as good with the pit stops, less of them (Dewald elaborated why there would be less) means less time lost.
    Let's say Mercedes does a pit stop in 3 seconds, Lotus in 3.5 seconds. If both do three stops, Lotus loses 1.5 seconds. If there are only 2 stops, they'd only lose 1 second. Thus, the teams that aren't as good with pit stops would benefit from there being less of them.
  14. We had all kinds of stops last year remember? from 1-4 or something like that. Same deal when pit limiter is lowered.
  15. Ole Marius Myrvold

    Ole Marius Myrvold
    JWB 96-13 Staff

    You don't get it?

    With a slower speed limit. It may be better to have less pit-stops. If your pit-crew is slow, less stops are better compared to the teams with fast stops.
  16. I get it,

    You can´t just say, "well we are slow so we will do one less stop then everyone else"

    That is only possible if your car is capable of treating it´s tires VERY good.
    If they decide to stop one less then everyone else you can be assured that they will get overtaken pretty quickly.
    This is Pirelli´s not Bridgestone´s they are running. And to make things worse, for this year the compunds except SS is softer.

    So the whole notion that certain teams will stop one less simply because their pit crew is 1-2 seconds slower (at most) then the competition is grasping for straws.
  17. Chris Jenkins

    Chris Jenkins
    Driving til the wheels fall off

    It would be a gamble between losing places due to bad tyres or losing places due to longer pit stops.
    No win situation really.

    I'm glad the FIA said no. It's silly.
  18. That wasn't the point at all. I was making my claim under the assumption that if the pit stops take longer, every team would opt for less stops. This is a simple fact. On tracks with longer pit lanes, all teams try to do less, whereas with short pit lanes, they tend to do more stops. This is completely independent from tyre wear (obviously, tyre wear does play a role for strategy, but it is absolutely irrelevant to the point I am making). The longer the pit stop time loss, the less pit stops are done. By both the teams who do them fast and those which are slow.
    My point was that with everyone doing less pit stops overall, the advantage of the teams better at the stops would come into play less often during a race. Hence, the slower teams have an incentive to want conditions under which less stops are done.

    This is something every team has to take into consideration, at every race. Doing more stops usually is faster, unless the pit lane is very long, doing less usually gives you better track position, which, depending on the track, can also be quite an advantage (albeit one that has been reduced by DRS).
  19. No they would not. You can´t disregard the life of the tires. It does not matter if the limit is 100km/h or 20km/h.
    The tires decide how many pitstops there will be, not the pit speed limit.
    Teams would not change pit strategies based on what the speed limit is, because they know everyone else has the exact same issue.

    You are grasping for straws with teams being slower then other teams. It´s minute..

    You are talking about 1-2 seconds out of around 1.3 hours.

    0.037% in pit time loss compared to a "fast" team. There is absolutely no need to disregard one full pitstop for that gain.
    That is the time deficit between a fast team and slow team in terms of changing tires.

    Now if we count that it takes 1 minute to do a full pitstop from entering, changing to exiting you end up with 1% of time for the whole race distance.
    That 1% of time you gained is then lost quickly when you have twice as old tires as everyone else out on track.

    EDIT: Looks like HRT is the only other team changing tires that is over two seconds on average slower then RBR.
    Virgin is only 1.6 seconds slower on average, the numbers above account for 2 seconds slower pit times so the percentage should be even smaller.

    Ferrari is on average 0.5 seconds slower, now we don´t see them skipping a pit stop because of that.
    Or Toro Rosso which is 1,3 seconds slower on average.

    Only team that we have seen do this is Sauber, but that is down to their car allowing them from time to time to go one stop less.
  20. Okay, the underlined part really makes me think you don't want to understand me. I never said that the teams would change their strategy based on the one second gained (or not lost) compared to teams with faster pit crews.

    Let me try to explain it in a different way. Why is 3 stop the most common strategy? Why not 4 stop or 5 five stop? With those strategies, the tires would be even fresher and therefore faster. The answer, obviously is, that while the car would produce faster lap times, the additional time lost in the pits would negate this advantage. Hence it stands to reason that if the time a pit stop takes would increase because of the slower pit lane speed, strategies with less stops would become better. Yes, the lap times are slower due to the tires being slightly more worn, but the time lost on the track would be less than the time lost on an additional stop.

    Alright, and then the REPERCUSSION of this fact would be that teams with slower pit crews would lose less time on their stops, compared to the faster ones.
    Oh, and don't try to tell me 1 second doesn't matter. Formula 1 race engineers would gladly sell their mother into slavery for a lap time improvement of one tenth. 1 second over a race is obviously a bit less - but if it's for free, due to a rule change - I'm sure they'd gladly take that. Also, one second can easily turn into a whole lot more if it means you end up behind a rival car after a pit stop instead of in front.

    Last but not least, I said this is only one explanatory theory for why many teams would ask for a change in pit lane speed limit. If you have a better one, feel free to share it.