It doesn’t even look real. The footage seems doctored, sped up to 1.25x or even 1.5x in the editing room. But it isn’t. Even after watching this pit stop over and over, from all four camera angles, I cannot figure out how a group of human beings managed to move that quickly. Even if you don’t care much about racing, you can absolutely appreciate this one.
Quick primer: Said footage is from this past weekend’s F1 European Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan. That’s the Williams Martini Racing team, changing out four tires on the No. 19 car of Felipe Massa on the seventh lap. In four off four on gone. Just like that. The whole dance clocks in at a staggering 1.92 seconds. Yes, kids, that’s the fastest pit stop in the history of F1.
(Red Bull Racing says it also tore off a 1.92-second stop, servicing Mark Webber’s car at the inaugural United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, three years ago.)
The Williams stop is incredible, and historic, but it’s hardly out of character. F1 gives out an award for the fastest pit stop after each Grand Prix; thus far, Williams has taken those honors at every race this year.
For a long time, the 2.0-second barrier was a mythical thing. Now, it’s been done twice in the span of three seasons. The sub-1.9-second stop? If anybody’s going to manage that one, it’ll be the guys in Martini colors.