- Williams perform the DHL Fastest Pit Stop at the Azerbaijan GP
- Lance Stroll sent on his way in 2.18 seconds
- 35 pit stops in a topsy-turvy race in Baku
Williams win DHL Fastest Pit Stop in Baku
Lance Stroll enjoyed a worthwhile outing in the Azerbaijan GP in Baku. The Williams driver finished the action-packed race in eighth place and scored his first championship points of the campaign. The young Canadian also had the satisfaction of being serviced by his pit crew faster than any other driver. Stroll was dispatched in 2.18 seconds, which gave Williams the DHL Fastest Pit Stop of the event.
“It was a crazy race,” said Stroll. “So much happened. I am pretty happy with the race – there might have been one or two more positions if we’d done everything perfectly, but no one had a perfect race today.” Baku seems to be a happy hunting ground for Williams: when Formula 1 made its debut in the city on the Caspian Sea in 2016, the British team equaled the pit stop world record in a time of 1.92 seconds and subsequently went on to win the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award for that year.
Despite minimal tire wear on the six-kilometer street circuit, there were no fewer than 35 pit stops, prompted in part by the chaotic circumstances of numerous accidents and a safety car deployment. McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne called in for four tire changes. His team demonstrated an extraordinary consistency throughout – Vandoorne’s fastest stop took 2.82 seconds and his slowest 3.23 seconds.
Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas only completed one stop each, all three in superfast times. Red Bull sent them both on their way in 2.25 seconds and 2.42 seconds respectively, constituting the second-fastest and third-fastest stops of the race, a great performance as far as the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award was concerned, but not so much in World Championship terms: Verstappen and Ricciardo collided shortly after their pit stops and were forced to retire.
Bottas’s strategy looked set to have secured the race victory when the safety car came out on Lap 40 as a consequence of the Red Bull collision. Bottas, who had not stopped previously in the race, seized the opportunity to come in for a tire change (2.58 seconds) and emerged from the pit lane ahead of Sebastian Vettel. However, luck was not on the Mercedes man’s side: three laps before seeing the checkered flag, he sustained a puncture and had to retire. This gifted the victory to Bottas’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Top Ten pit stops in the FORMULA 1 2018 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX
- 01 Lance Stroll (Williams) - 2.18s
- 02 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) - 2.25s
- 03 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 2.42s
- 04 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) - 2,58
- 05 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) - 2.77s
- 06 Charles Leclerc (Sauber) - 2.80s
- 07 Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) - 2.82s
- 08 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) - 2.82s
- 09 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - 2.84s
- 10 Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) - 2.89s
DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award: Red Bull extend points lead
By the end of this fourth race of the campaign, Red Bull had further consolidated their lead in the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award. The Bulls now top the standings on 101 points, followed by Ferrari on 73. Behind them are Mercedes (63) and Williams (56).