Pit Lane and Garage Action

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 usually 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

The number of crew allowed to attend at any one time to cars during a pit stop is often limited by the regulations, maybe 3 or 4 persons only. Refuelling is done first or in a designated area. A pit stop can take several minutes to execute despite the crew moving rapidly as in the following VdeV Endurance Series image. A driver change can take some time as each driver installs their own seat mould, then gets strapped in and plugged in to the communications and drink bottle. This process sometimes 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 detached 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.