REPORTS: Mercedes & Red Bull Oppose as F1 Talks Fail Over Using Identical Pit Stop Equipment

Published 08/16/2021, 5:22 AM EDT
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


Over the years, F1 teams have hardly found themselves on equal grounds, with the entire grid being split into top-field, mid-field, and bottom-field packs; Mercedes and Red Bull, as of now, are far ahead of others. Hence, to eliminate such differences between teams, the FIA and Liberty Media, have been keen on enforcing more rules.

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But, over most occasions, contradictions from the front runners have been the end result. Last year witnessed several teams opposing the idea of using the single Brembo Braking System on the cars.

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Hence, the plans never materialized, as the governing body failed to bring the teams onto common ground. And now, a similar scenario is breaking out of an idea related to pit-stop equipment. The FIA is seeking to improve cost-cutting and safety through the latest maneuver.

Mercedes and Red Bull Against pit stop regulation?

The pace difference between F1 teams isn’t subjected to just on the track, but also in the pit lane. While top field teams like Mercedes and Red Bull have been supreme in changing tires, that hasn’t been the case with other mid-field and bottom-field teams.

The championship contenders’ pit stop times are mostly sub 2.0s, but the rest of the grid is still struggling to break into the sub 2.5 to 3.0s category. This is primarily due to the variable pit stop equipment used by each team.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the race REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

And F1 is looking to end this difference. Also, similar equipment would play well into the sport’s pursuit of cost reduction and also improve safety amongst the pit crew. However, that doesn’t seem as easy to implement in reality.

Ever since the F1 kicked off the talks, Mercedes and Red Bull, have remained on the opposing side. Neither of the teams is eager on losing their long-held pit-stop advantage by opting for similar equipment in 2022.

F1: The ultimate decision

According to Motorsports, the talks failed to go through. The ultimate goal of F1 and the FIA was to provide equal pit stop equipment to the entire grid. And NASCAR was the latest racing series to implement this policy, but F1 doesn’t seem to be as lucky.

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Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 3, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during qualifying REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Amidst Red Bull and Mercedes’ reluctance, the sport has no option but to give up their hopes of bringing the teams to a level playing field.

Hence, with F1 teams set to continue with their own pit stop tools, the sport’s scope to improve safety and reduce costs has met with a dead-end.

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Rohit Kumar

1171 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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