Williams change tyres in less than three seconds in pre-season practice

Williams drivers can expect super-quick tyre changes in 2010

Williams drivers can expect super-quick tyre changes in 2010

With refuelling banned we’re going to see some wickedly fast pit stops in 2010. How fast? The Williams crew are already able to swap four tyres in less than three seconds.

The fastest four-tyre pit stop recorded in F1 was 3.2 seconds – so who will be first to break that record, and just how quick can they get?

Williams media manager Claire Williams posted on Twitter that the team’s pit stop preparations were going well:

More pit stop practice on the agenda today, the guys have made it into the sub-three second range to change a set of tyres!

The team were also practising their pit stops yesterday and driver Nico H?â??lkenberg also had a go at changing one of the front wheels.

As pit stops this year will not be delayed by fuel rigs coming on and off the car a quick change will be decidedly entirely by how quick the mechanics are. A moment’s hesitation, a dropped wheel nut or a tyre that won’t go on properly could cost a driver a victory.

The last time F1 had refuelling-free pit stops Benetton set what is believed to be the fastest time every recorded for a tyre change in F1 – 3.2 seconds. That was on Riccardo Patrese’s car at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1993.

If Williams can repeat what they did in their dress rehearsal at the race, they’ll beat that time – but doing it under the pressure of a live race is a different matter.

All the other teams will be practising as well, of course. Will any of them have any clever tactics to get the tyres off and on quicker than their rivals? The first round of pit stops at Bahrain will be fascinating to watch.

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Read more: A brief history of pit stops in F1 (video)

Image (C) Williams/LAT

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61 comments on Williams change tyres in less than three seconds in pre-season practice

  1. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st January 2010, 14:35

    I like this: the iSport GP2 team have reacted:

    Mechanics Dragi and Sam did a 2 man tyre change in 2.84secs. Eat that F1 guys who have 3 guys on each tyre!


  2. There’s gotta be a case for timing it it down to the 1000th of a second now :)

  3. At Silverstone (either this year or in 2007) one of the teams had a f1 car in a tent for spectators to change tyres on.

    I’m pretty sure amateurs got tyre changes under 3secs there although I don’t remember what the fastest time was, I’ll try and dig through my old photos to see if I photographed the board.

  4. wasiF1 said on 21st January 2010, 15:31

    It will be interesting to see how all the teams crew performs in the heat of the race,pit-stop next year will be very challenging for the pit crew.Half second delay will be disaster.

  5. Simon said on 21st January 2010, 17:35

    Stjoslin, I think those wheel covers (which I dislike too) are banned for 2010. I think sub-4 seconds will be the norm – no team is going to waste precious tenths on anything less than a flat-out, fast-as-they-can tyre change.

    I think also that pitstop errors will become more common in 2010, since the wheel changers will be a lot more rushed than previously. The pressure of knowing that they are now the limiting factor will be significant.

  6. F1 Outsider said on 21st January 2010, 17:47

    It certainly will be interesting to watch these new teams stumble through their pit stops. Rookie pay drivers overshooting their boxes, mechanics who never got to practice on the actual car, and so forth…

    Take USF1… They haven’t even completed their chassis. They probably haven’t even begun to figure out who’ll be in their pit crew. They’ll most likely be some guys from defunct champ car or indy teams.

  7. I would have thought the length of the pit stop is measured from when the car stops to when it starts again. As that will include getting the car up and then down off the jacks again, I can’t see it getting significantly under 3 seconds during the pressure of a race stop.

    • verstappen said on 21st January 2010, 20:13

      einverstanden! the tyre change is under 3 secs, which is not the same as the entire stop.

      …can’t wait though to see how it will go.

      And, what I always thought is why arent’t the minardi / super aguri etc pitstops the fastest? I mean you don’t need money to practice your stops?

  8. To jazz it up a bit they should make them do it in boxing gloves :)

  9. Not Roo bad, but I’m not impressed at all, you (Keith) arĂ© much more faster posting threads!!!

  10. I remember in Hungary, Renault had a novel idea on how to have the wheels off before you got to the pits, meaning all they had to do was put new ones on…

  11. Tire stops in 3 seconds and under? That’s pretty awesome! I know Williams are a great team , but I’m now intrigued to see what A McLaren or a Ferrari can reel off. The pit stops this year will be lightning quick! Blink and you might miss them! That goes for the TV cameras too!

  12. i expect it to be beaten by force india. I bet they spend more time on pitstop practice than anyone else.

  13. Wow thats really fast! I guess it helps that they will not have to contend with the ‘wheel cover'(the proper name escapes me) as well…

  14. Ronman said on 25th January 2010, 12:48

    Changing 4 tires in under 3 seconds should be a blur.

    but what F1 should have done is along with minimizing the amount of team members that go to the races, they should have decreased the number of people allowed to operate a pit stop.

    2 Jack-men, 4 air gun-men, and 1 tyre-dude for each corner instead of 2

    now that will make things a little more interesting, and the Lolipop guy as well…

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