Mercedes GP’s mechanics are providing the fastest pit stop service of any other team on the 2011 grid, according to a report in Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport newspaper.

Mercedes GP has reportedly managed the fastest pit stops to-date in 2011The article included analysis which showed that the Brackley-based team was performing its pit stops just eight-hundredths of a second faster than the second-quickest team, McLaren.

And with the softer Pirelli tyres being used this season – which will necessitate more pit stops during races – a faster turnaround time in the pits could mean the difference between one result and the next on-track.

It’s not uncommon for teams to spend hours practicing pit stop drills during Grand Prix weekends, and teams have perfected their turnaround times with innovations such as bespoke traffic light systems, wheel guns and raising jacks.

Mercedes GP is believed to have pioneered a wheel rim with an integrated wheel nut to improve its pit stop work and reliability, with all of the team’s technical retirements in 2010 coming about due to wheel nuts working loose on their cars.

The third-quickest team – some three-tenths of a second slower than Mercedes GP – is Red Bull Racing, while Ferrari ranks just seventh-quickest behind Sauber, Force India and Renault, who are fourth-, fifth- and sixth-quickest respectively.

Williams and Toro Rosso are in positions eight and nine respectively, while the three sophomore teams – Team Lotus, Virgin Racing and Hispania Racing – bring up the rear. HRT is believed to take (on average) 3.3 seconds longer than Mercedes GP for a conventional tyre change.

[Original image via LAT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.