F1 team bosses discuss how they are adapting to pit stops with the heavier tyres and cars in 2022, as Mario Isola adds his bit.
Pit stops in F1 2022 have changed with the new rules for this campaign. Cars are of course now heavier, so too have the wheels with 18-inches making its debut moving on from 13-inches. In short, significant changes for all ten teams. It is a case of all of them just learning to adapt until they get it fully right and then again practice does make perfect.
With these changes, the timings of the pit stops have increased too as F1 teams are still adjusting to the changes especially the mechanics who have to perform the pit stops with the larger and heavier tyres. As the season is progressing, times are improving as the mechanics are getting used to the new tyres.
“It is really certainly on our side,” said Alpine’s Alan Permane. “They have dropped slightly in speed, but really not very much and 2.2, 2.3 seconds is a regular thing, where I guess they were maybe 1.8 when they were the absolute quickest, but they’re still around two seconds. So the wheels are heavier, the cars are a little bit heavier, we don’t really notice that I don’t think in terms of stop performance”.
“There is some stuff going on for the future. With the FIA, the teams are working on, possibly, electric pit guns – for all sorts of reasons, for eco reasons, for savings on freight, and just moving forward. I think we’re a little way away on that, honestly, to retain the same performance that we have now, but essentially, what we have now is what we had last year with a bigger wheel.”
At the same time, Ferrari’s Laurent Mekies added: “Yeah, same here really. I think it’s a good opportunity to give credit to the guys that, as you say, have been able to show pretty similar performance with these new wheels, heavier compared to what we were doing last year. Of course, it’s coming after a lot of training, after a lot of analysis. What do you need, ergonomics, training, to hardware on the car, to be able to allow them to perform at the same level”.
“But I think it’s a good occasion to say a big well done to them, as a group, in the way they have been able to come to that level of performance. Of course, if you then look up and down the pit line, yes, on average we go a touch slower, as Alan said, maybe on average we do a few more mistakes as well, but it’s something that I’m sure will be ironed out as time goes on and more practice is done.”
Both sporting directors obviously singing from the same hymn sheet and no doubt their fellow members from the other eight teams would concur also. With the F1 2022 changes and in this case the heavier tyres, Pirelli tyre guru Isola gives his take on what they had to do regarding adjustments to the tyres for this campaign
“No, not really, because the additional weight on the tyre is coming mainly from the rim and there is a little we can do tyre-wise to compensate for that,” said Isola. “I believe we did a good job together with the teams to design the wheel core in a way that is helping the mechanics to do the pit stops properly. At the beginning it was not really easy but now the situation is stabilised.”
Here’s Mario Isola on how tyres have fared in 2022 and what’s for 2023.
Here’s Charles Leclerc on confidence on Ferrari