Imola GP: Mercedes Explain Reason Behind Slow F1 Pitstops

Published 04/22/2021, 5:51 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during qualifying REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


Mercedes did have a rollercoaster of a weekend at Imola. The Silver Arrows did have a few hiccups that affected their race. A slow pit stop at Imola saw the Brackley based outfit lose out on precious time. The team’s engineers explains what went wrong.

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Things were looking bright for the seven-time champions, as Lewis Hamilton took pole, but didn’t last very long as Max Verstappen overtook him. Valtteri Bottas on the other hand started 8th but his race came to an end after a horrible crash with George Russell.

Hamilton too went off track, which saw him fall down the order, but his will and determination saw him fight back and gain P2. The Brackley-based outfit have learned from their mistakes and will learn from them.

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Mercedes admits to not being the best in pit stops

In the debrief video of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, race engineer Andrew Shovlin said, “Well its fair to say we are not the best. We are losing time in the pit stops, and its an area that we have been focusing on for a while. In particular though in Lewis’s stop, we did have an issue with one of the pit stop guns.”

“For the next stop we actually changed to a different gun and that seem to resolve that issue and also we had a short hold. We had to hold for four tenths of a second, because Giovinazzi was coming down the pit lane just at the point that Lewis was ready to go.”

“As I said there was some specific instances that affected us in the race in Imola and we will look to work on those, but longer term we are still looking at what we can do with the crew, with equipment trying to find a bit more time in the stops,” he concluded.

Toto Wolff states that Russell has a lot to learn after the incidents at Imola

Britain’s Russell was pushing to overtake Mercedes’ Bottas, but the Williams driver misjudged the Finn’s move, which saw him crash into him that resulted in them retiring from the race.

As quoted by Autosport, Wolff said, “The whole situation should have never happened. Valtteri had a bad first 30 laps, and shouldn’t have been there. But George should have never launched into this maneuver, considering that the track was drying up.”

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Williams’ George Russell in action during the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

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“It meant taking risks, and the other car is a Mercedes in front of him. In any driver’s development, for a young driver, you must never lose this global perspective. So yeah, lots to learn for him I guess,” Wolff concluded.

The Brackley-based squad were happy that Lewis salvaged the race by finishing P2. However, they will be looking to improve and get a better result, when they race in Portugal for the third round of the champion at the end of this month.

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Arpit Gomes

322 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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