- Ferrari execute the DHL Fastest Pit Stop for fifth time this season in Japan
- Kimi Räikkönen’s car serviced in 2.24 seconds
- Red Bull Racing lead DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award
Ferrari execute DHL Fastest Pit Stop at Suzuka
While Ferrari may not be happy with the result of the Japanese Grand Prix, they had every reason to be pleased with their pit crew’s performance. While Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel were unable to finish higher than fifth and sixth respectively, the Scuderia demonstrated perfect teamwork when changing tires and completed the DHL Fastest Pit Stop.
Räikkönen came into the pits on Lap 17 and was equipped with fresh medium tires in 2.24 seconds – the fastest time of the afternoon at Suzuka. After a contact with Max Verstappen, Räikkönen stopped earlier than the other top drivers but that did not benefit him, as he got stuck in traffic after leaving the pit lane and thus had to let the two Red Bull drivers Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo go through. They stopped on Laps 21 and 23 respectively.
"After the contact with Max I saw some parts flying off my car; it was damaged pretty badly on the left hand side. Obviously, this affected negatively the rest of my race. What happened is unfortunate and after that it was pretty difficult to drive on. I had lost a lot of downforce, but there was not much I could do", Räikkönen said.
The second-fastest stop went to Mercedes, who turned around race winner Lewis Hamilton in 2.31 seconds, beating Vettel by the smallest of margins, who bolted on fresh tires in 2.32 seconds on his only pit stop. The Silver Arrows executed the fourth-fastest stop for Valtteri Bottas, who was turned around and sent back out with fresh tires in 2.42 seconds.
As with so many races this season, most teams at Suzuka again opted for a one-stop strategy due to the low levels of tire wear. There were 23 pit stops overall in the Japanese GP, ten of which took less than three seconds.
The top-ten pit stops in the FORMULA 1 2018 HONDA JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
- Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) - 2.24secs
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - 2.31secs
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) - 2.32secs
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) - 2.42secs
- Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) - 2.51secs
- Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso) - 2.54secs
- Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) - 2.61secs
- Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) - 2.74secs
- Nico Hülkenberg (Renault) - 2.86secs
- Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) - 2.97secs
DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award: Red Bull still lead
Red Bull Racing on 397 points continue to lead the overall standings of the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award despite the fact that the competition has managed to reel them in slightly. With four races to go before the end of the season, Ferrari are on 302 points, followed by Mercedes (262), Williams (229) and Sauber (202).