While many may contend that the defending Constructors’ champions were one of the biggest disappointments of the 2010 Formula 1 season, Mercedes GP can at least take some pride from having the fastest pit crew of the season.
Auto Motor und Sport has reported that the Brackley-based outfit – formerly known as Brawn GP before being bought out by Mercedes-Benz during the 2009-10 off-season – provided consistently the quickest pit stops for Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg than any of the other eleven teams during the year.
With the ban on refuelling putting the emphasis on the speed of tyre changing, the Mercedes GP pit crew recorded the fastest pit stop times eight times during the season – at Malaysia, China, Spain, Monaco, Turkey, Germany, Britain and Belgium.
Red Bull achieved the fastest pit stop on five occasions – at Bahrain, Australia, Hungary, Italy (the fastest stop all season, at 2.9 seconds) and Abu Dhabi.
Ferrari’s pit crew achieved the fastest pit stop on three occasions, while Sauber managed the feat twice, at Korea and Brazil.
Interestingly, McLaren was the quickest only once, in Japan.
The slowest pit crew was Lotus Racing, which recorded five wooden spoons, while Hispania Racing and Renault achieved four apiece.
Mercedes GP’s quick pit stops are largely credited to the use of a fully automated ‘traffic light’ system – rumoured to be about half-a-second faster than using a lollipop man – and the design of a front jack that is easier to release and remove from the car’s path.
Red Bull Racing, meanwhile, reportedly appoints its principal tyre changers after they underwent a series of tests during the off-season, and the lollipop man was successful after scoring highest in a psychometric exam.
It just goes to show – with several races this season being determined by the speed of the pit crews – how important the entire team of mechanics is as well…
[Original image via Sutton Images]