Formula 1 pit crews are nothing short of awe-inspiring. During any routine pit stop, their combination of skill, precision, and coordination allows them to swap four heavy wheels and tires in just a couple of seconds. It takes me longer to put a socket on a single lug. One of the reasons pit crews are so good is their muscle memory, which allows them to swap wheels with their eyes closed. Literally. And that's exactly what the Red Bull F1 pit crew does in this new video.
To put their pit crew to the test, the Red Bull F1 team shut out the lights in a garage and had them attempt a typical tire swap in complete darkness. During the Qatar Grand Prix, that same pit crew pulled off a 1.88-second pit stop in practice, which is lightning-fast. But it's an entirely different beast when they can't see.
During the first few practice runs, they tried on a static car with the lights on but with their visors covered with black tape. It worked well enough but then they had to try on a car that rolled in to stop, which naturally made it a bit trickier. However, their best practice run time was 4.93 seconds, which is shockingly good.
The real test came when the lights went out. Only the driver and the jack operator could see, using night vision goggles, otherwise it wouldn't be safe. With ten tries to get their fastest time, the Red Bull pit crew was able to do a 2.84-second pit stop tire change on their last attempt, which is remarkable.
Does this test have any practical use, outside of good marketing for the Red Bull F1 team? I'm not a pit crew engineer but I doubt it. Still, it's cool to see just how amazing all F1 pit crews are, not only Red Bull's.
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