Mercedes Shifts Gear on Pit-Stops as F1 Competition Heats Up

Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes, has acknowledged that the team didn’t prioritize pit-stops during its dominant Formula 1 era but is now focused on improving this aspect as the competition intensifies.

During Mercedes’ dominant stretch from 2014 to 2021, the team’s superior performance often compensated for any strategy errors or slow pit-stops. However, with the recent convergence of the field in the ground effects era, efficient pit-stops have become crucial, and Mercedes finds itself trailing behind rival teams.

Teams like Red Bull and McLaren have emerged as leaders in this aspect, with McLaren setting a world record with a 1.80s pit-stop for Lando Norris in the Qatar Grand Prix. Wolff has admitted that Mercedes needs to catch up.

Wolff stated, “Our mindset for the last 12 years was that we don’t need to be World Champions in pit-stops, we just need to avoid slow pit-stops. It is coming to a situation now where we realize because it has become so competitive, we just need to ramp our game out there. In terms of equipment and science around it, we will be making a step up to [be better] than three-and-a-half seconds.”