- Mercedes complete DHL Fastest Pit Stop in the Chinese GP
- Valtteri Bottas is turned around in 2.15 seconds
- Red Bull Racing impressive with two perfect double stops
Mercedes execute DHL Fastest Pit Stop in Shanghai
The Formula 1 teams produced outstanding teamwork once again in the Chinese Grand Prix. Mercedes completed the DHL Fastest Pit Stop in this third race of the season, equipping Valtteri Bottas with new tires in 2.15 seconds.
This enabled the Finn to take the lead from Sebastian Vettel, who stopped one lap after Bottas and dropped down into second place. The strategy worked out by Mercedes on the pit wall went well, and the undercut was successful.
The fact that Bottas did not win the race, however, was due to a safety car period following a crash between teammates, Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley, on Lap 30. Red Bull Racing was the only top team to bring drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen in for tires, sending them back out on new softs.
While Verstappen went to work with a vengeance, clashing with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo took advantage of the fresh rubber, overtook everyone in front of him and ultimately secured a supreme victory which he crowned with the DHL Fastest Lap.
Despite the fact that Red Bull did not make the fastest pit stop in Shanghai, they executed the most amazing tire changes. Both on Lap 17 and 31 when the safety car was out on track, Verstappen and Ricciardo were called into the pits in quick succession, posing an incredibly tricky challenge for Red Bull’s pit crew, which they mastered perfectly.
Verstappen was sent back out on his way in 2.49 seconds on Lap 17, and then a few moments later, Ricciardo was turned around in 2.33 – the second fastest time of the race. Red Bull’s second double stop lasted only slightly longer. Verstappen was stationary for 2.88 seconds, immediately after which, in 2.58 seconds, Ricciardo bolted on the tires that ultimately carried him to victory.
“Coming home second is not what we aimed for after the beginning of the race and the successful undercut. The team did a really good job, the pit stop was absolutely perfect and came at the right moment. We lost the race under the safety car,” said a disappointed Bottas after losing out to Ricciardo.
Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, on the other hand was extremely delighted with his team’s first win of the season. “We made a late call to get both cars in and again the second double stop was clinically executed and they did an unbelievable job,” he said, singing the pit crew’s praises. And Ricciardo added: “The team made a very quick decision to stop both cars under the safety car and it was a winning decision. For me this is a massive reward, but for the mechanics and engineers, they really earned this victory.”
Top-ten pit stops in the FORMULA 1 2018 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX
- 01 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): 2.15s
- 02 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 2.33s
- 03 Sergio Perez (Force India): 2.39s
- 04 Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso): 2.45s
- 05 Max Verstappen (Red Bull): 2.49s
- 07 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 2.58s
- 08 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 2.69s
- 09 Marcus Ericsson (Sauber): 2.70s
- 10 Esteban Ocon (Force India): 2.72s
DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award: Red Bull take the lead
Red Bull Racing take over from the previous leaders, Ferrari, at the top of the overall classification for the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award. The Bulls are now on 68 points at the head of the table while the Scuderia have 57 points. Mercedes are next with 49. Force India are on 37, Williams 31. Following this third race of the season, all teams have now registered a time in the competition for the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award.