The Red Bull pit crew set out to record the fastest pit stop possible in complete darkness, delivering the impossible feat after ten attempts.
Red Bull recently decided to step up their pit stop challenges when they were required to complete one in complete darkness. The goal of the test was to determine whether a pit crew with hundreds, if not thousands, of practice runs could execute a pit stop in complete darkness.
Every season, the teams go through thousands of practice stops. Surprisingly, the Red Bull team was able to set a fastest time of 2.84 seconds despite the fact that they were blinded.
The world champions won their sixth consecutive fastest pit stop title, which is determined by consistency over the course of a single season, as McLaren set a new world record with their 1.8 second stop in Qatar.
The 2023 constructors world champions handed themselves ten attempts in what they called the ‘Pitch Black Pit Stop’ at their Milton Keynes base with all the lights off after three attempts with the crew wearing blindfolds.
To complete the task, the crew used Red Bull’s 2018 F1 car, the RB14, only equipped with an electric motor. They were only required to use muscle memory to prop up the car, replace all four tires, and lower it back down.
On their first attempts, the crew took about ten seconds to get their bearings and position. However, on their tenth and final try, they managed to service the car in 2.84 seconds, which under normal circumstances during a race weekend would have been quite satisfactory despite not having the ability to see what was happening.
“The Pitch Black Pit Stop was a challenge we could literally never see coming our way as a Race Team, but in typical Red Bull fashion, we have come to expect the unexpected!” Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley said.
“The sense of sight, being able to see the car, your team-mates and what you are doing are intrinsic to a successful pit stop, so having that taken away presented some serious hurdles.
“However, what soon became clear is how fluid the team are in their approach, communication, ability and cohesive spirt; that the task at hand was almost second nature.
“I was really proud of their performance. The time of 2.84 seconds is a strong stop even in broad daylight!
“I’m certainly not saying that I would like to turn the lights out in a race, but being able to pull this off so succinctly, in the pitch black, shows what a well-oiled machine the crew is and testament to the fact we have won six consecutive DHL’s Fastest Pit Stop Awards.
As the 2024 Formula 1 season gets underway on March 2, with the Bahrain Grand Prix, Red Bull will be hoping to continue their winning streak both in the pits and on the track.