How Many People Are Needed to Perform an F1 Pit Stop?

Published 07/07/2021, 6:25 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in the pits during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


F1 is the kind of motorsport where every millisecond counts, and even a petty mistake can cost a driver his position. Such is the intensity that Formula 1 carries with itself.

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And it isn’t always up to the drivers to gain those crucial seconds. There is also a group of mechanics that play a major part in determining a driver’s on-track position – the pit crew.

Who wouldn’t recognize them? Over the years, the crew has been setting records and records, not just within F1, but also over the world of motorsport racing. F1’s pit stops are incredibly rapid compared to the likes of Indycar, NASCAR, and WEC.

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The evolution of pit stops has been mind-blowing over the years. While it took the mechanics over 30 seconds to get an F1 car going in a pit stop back in the 50s, the time has dropped down to less than 2 seconds. Red Bull’s 1.98s pit stop for Max Verstappen in Baku is currently the fastest over the 2021 season.

So, this might leave a few wondering, how does this work?

Since the stop is done within the blink of an eye, it is quite hard to understand what’s actually happening in a pit stop.

How many F1 mechanics take part in a pit stop?

As of now, the number is likely around 21. How you might ask?

Well, let’s start with the tires. A team of three takes over the job of switching a tire. One mechanic holds onto the wheel gun; as he unscrews the bolt, the other mechanic removes the used tire, while the final crew slots in the new tire. Since there are four tires on a car, the number is already up to 12.

Then, there is the team of two, who lift the car using the special trolleys. One mechanic lifts the back of the car, while the other, the front. There is also a spare mechanic, who is ready to replace any one of them in case of inconvenience.

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Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel before the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

Another team of two holds either side of the cockpit steadily to prevent any kind of destabilization while their colleagues switch the tires. Meanwhile, two other mechanics are assigned to the front wing, who make necessary adjustments to it.

Finally, two mechanics oversee the operations and also keep an eye on the pit lane. Their signals are vital, as a driver getting away safely after a stop resides entirely on their hands.

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Overall, that closes out the 21-member pit crew, who play a massive role in delivering sub-2-second pit stops.

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Rohit Kumar

941 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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