Pit stop, pit wall, pit crew, mechanics, garages, prepare, repair, refuel, tyre change, driver change, wait…
Photos illustrating the atmosphere & action of the pit lane
Track, paddock, pit lane; the three important physical areas of a race circuit. The pit lane is on par with the track in terms of activity on a race day or weekend. But, whereas track activity is generally constant, activity in the pit lane fluctuates between high drama and tranquility, intensity and boredom.
As a place of work it is uncomfortable, generally unclean and, from to to time, very noisy and potentially dangerous. Combined with the long hours necessary to support a racing event then you are probably crossing the line of what is lawfully acceptable in most places of work. There can be a lot of “hanging around”. Preparedness is the order of the day, ready to spring into action at a moments notice.
Tyre change, driver change, screen wash
Except for premier race series events the number of crew allowed to attend to cars during a pit stop is small, maybe 3 or 4 persons only. They move rapidly but the stops take several minutes to execute as with this VdeV Endurance Series. Driver change is the longest component as each driver installs their own seat mould and then gets strapped in and plugged in to the communications and drink bottle. This process usually requires the assistance of two people with the exiting driver often playing a part as well.
Problem with the bodywork
Just as this Solution F FOENIX was about to re-join the race an issue was noticed with the bodywork where it had become unfixed from the front of the car. The crew fought valiantly to rectify the problem, pushing, levering and kicking but to no avail. Eventually it was decided the only remedy was to push the car into the garage, dismantle the bodywork and fix the issue that way.
Formula 1 pit stop
The number of pit crew in a Formula 1 team is large as illustrated by this Williams Racing pit stop practice during free practice in Barcelona 2017. Each person has a specific role to play. As an indication, each wheel has 3 attendants, one to take the old wheel off, one to place the new wheel on and one to loosen and tighten the wheel nut.
The waiting game
This is the kind of scene, as here in the United Autosports garage, that gets repeated in garages up and down the pit lane shortly after the start of the ELMS 4 Hours of Silverstone. Team members and pit crew, as well as friends and family, wait anxiously to ensure that all goes well with the car and their race preparation. Once it becomes obvious there are no problems people can relax a little and be ready for the first scheduled pit stop, usually an hour or so into the race.