“It will have an implication”– McLaren reveals there are new complexities in the pitstops with the introduction of new 2022 cars.
The new 2022 regulations have brought in an overwhelming amount of work for Formula 1 teams, and one of them is the added complexity in the pitstops.
McLaren’s James Key extensively discussed how the new 2022 cars would bring in a challenge to do timely pitstops, which often play a pivotal role in good race performance.
“I think there’s an element of adaption, to be honest, on the pit-stop side,” said Key, McLaren’s Executive Director, Technical. “It will have an implication. Obviously the wheel assemblies are different shapes, and heavier, so that’s going to be a human-to-human thing to get used to really.”
“We’ve also got different surfaces in that area as well, you see on the demonstrator car, you’ve got these, what are termed as, mudguards,” Key explained.
“They’re not mudguards, obviously, they’re aerodynamic devices, but they look like mudguards over the front wheels. They won’t get in the way, unless you’re slightly misplaced.”
“They certainly put an obstacle in the way of one of the guy’s arms, who is replacing the front wheel or removing it. The drum surfaces are also different as well. And they’re all prescribed geometries. So they’re geometries that everyone will have.”
“But they represent different challenges. I think brake drum geometries, for example, now are unique to each team, and they do play their role in how efficient your wheel on condition is, for example.
“So we’ve all got exactly the same lessons to learn here, but some of it will be human.”
An increase in weight will redefine pitstops
The size of the tyre next year will increase from 13 inches to 18 inches, and all the teams are rolling out tests with it; Key points the additional weight of tyres next year will altogether redefine the pitstops.
“With those heavier wheel rims, some of it will be technique. And so choreography, almost, between the players on how we adapt to the fact we’ve got different surfaces,” added Key.
“Beyond that, as other challenges of pit-stops, the cars are heavier, the front wings are going to be very different… they’re sticking out in front of the nose now, they’re less well supported than perhaps the wings we are used to, so how are you going to get your front jack to work?
“There’s many other stories here for these new cars that need to be figured out still. But there’s obviously a lot of background discussions. Undoubtedly, there’ll be some prep work, factory based prep work to do with that as well, so we hit the season with the best chance possible of getting it right.”