Editor’s Note: In another installment of our F1B Marbles column, we share the most recent thoughts of F1B reader and supporter Tim Covington as he discusses… the pits. Thanks to Tim for sending us this post and for continuing to support F1B. We hope you enjoy our Fan-based commentary that is F1B Marbles.

Ok . . . I admit it . . . I’m a NASCAR fan (along with being a fan of many other forms or motorsport). The part I find most interesting in NASCAR are the pit stops. Yes . . . pit stops. In NASCAR, you can have upwards of 8 to 10 pit stops in a race (or more) depending on the length of the race. The pit stops are like a ballet. You have crew members changing tires, others making chassis adjustments, others servicing the driver, and so on. All this is taking place within 13 to 16 seconds. It’s amazing what these crews can do to a car in such a short period of time.

Transition now to F1 . . . the pit stops in F1 are down to 3 and sometimes sub-3 seconds. Granted, most of the time those pit stops are for tires only. But changing tires in 3 seconds is incredible. I hope I can get that type of service the next time I need the tires on my truck rotated! I understand the reasoning behind banning refueling, but that task made the pit stops even more fascinating to watch. You also have to admire any crew that would stand in the pit lane waiting for a Formula 1 car to whip into its pit stall. One wrong move by a driver and you could see multiple team members taken out . . . literally. And, as has been said on many occasions, races can be won or lost in the pits . . . just ask Jaime Alguersuari and his bouncing tire from the Chinese Grand Prix.

I’ve read lots of posts where individuals just don’t like multiple pit stops. I hate to disagree . . . the more the better. If Formula 1 is really a team sport (and I believe it is), then lets spotlight the whole team . . . not just the drivers. A team is only as good as its weakest link. So, let’s see just how strong these teams really are.

I turn this post over to the people. Do you like pit stops? Would you like to see more pit stops? Would you like to see less pit stops? Your thoughts . . . .

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Pit stops without refueling are really amazing, this a way to make 1s… or lose 2 ^^

  • This column is a little light on the engagement of the reader.

    How do you expect to encourage a discussion of pit stops without making even a passing mention of how this years new tyres have affected the race, the team strategies or even the spectators ability to follow the action.

    I’ll do my part. As a spectator I often feel let down by television coverage. Viewers are at the mercy of the broadcast and we get to see only a tunnel-vision of whats actually happening on the track. We see only what they choose to present us with. It’s clear even from the F1 iPhone app that a lot more info is available yet we only really see a limited insight or analysis.

    Obviously it’s a difficult task and they’re faced with the need to keep the broadcast accessible to the mainstream audience. But if we could find a way to give spectators more insight to what’s happening off and on the track it’s only going to give us more appreciation for the complexity of the sport.

    The reason I mention this of course is that despite how exciting it is, a 3 or 4+ pit stop race is little difficult for the average viewer to follow, let alone for the teams to evaluate!

    Here’s another thought. The more pit stops in a race the more we have front runners battling on the track with cars that are behind the pace. Sure that means more overtaking, but is it really the kind of overtaking that we want to see?

    • It’s a guest post and usually they center on a more Op Ed notion or commentary than discussion piece. Tim was just sharing his personal thoughts but you do raise good questions and you have started a nice discussion point…

      Perhaps what we are experiencing is a traditional approach to broadcasting the race when the tactical element has radically changed? Maybe a different approach to tracking and showing pit stops and strategy may help in the understanding. As Tim says, NASCAR does that pretty well.

    • violinmike

      Forgive me for branching out the discussion, but I guess some hardcore fans would like to have all the live data and video streams at the touch of a button during the race. I can see the attraction of such a possibility, where everyone can tailor their viewing to their own needs, but it can get pretty complex as mentioned and I imagine that would make it even more difficult to keep up with what’s going on. How about a customisable broadcast, whereby you can specify which team(s) you want to see more of, or whether you’re keener to see on-track action or pitstops, and from the graphics whether you want technical data or just basic standings. Something like that could be pre-determined by each viewer. Personally, I normally like the balance they get, and as a McLaren fan, I’m given plenty of shots of my team… Wasn’t so good back when I supported Arrows, mind…

  • Tim

    Travis – You make very valid points about the race coverage. I won’t disagree with you at all. However, I think you may have missed what the post was really trying to focus on. What I was trying to point out, and maybe poorly so, was the awsomeness of the pitstop itself and the crews that perform such pit stops. These guys (and gals) are some of the unsung heros of a race weekend. Just trying to show these folks a little love with the post.

    That said, you do make great points about the broadcast coverage. Maybe you should consider doing a post for F1B Marbles.

  • Benalf

    that’s why F1 needed HD-TV….now we can think of having the screen divided into 24 little boxes…