FIA defers clampdown on ultra-fast pitstops to Spa

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The FIA has postponed to the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa after the summer break the clampdown on ultra-fast pitstops that it had planned to enforce from Hungary.

The govern body's decision to push back its new pitstop rules was motivated by the introduction of a new technical directive in which several of the minimum time requirements associated with a several stages of a pitstop have been scrapped.

Previously, for instance, a minimum figure of 0.15s from a wheel nut being tightened to the jack man being told to drop the car had been set in a bid to avoid the automatization of a process.

However after a consultation with the teams, including with Red Bull whose lightning-fast stops generated suspicions of risky automatization, the minimum reaction times have now been dropped.

But several preventive processes have been added to ensure that teams rely, in addition to sensors, on a human factor to safely complete a specific task or sequence of a pitstop.

For example, the mechanic on each wheel gun will need to manually press a button that signals that a wheel is safely on.

In short, the completion of a sequence must be validated by the wheel operator rather than by a sensor, and the system must therefore prevent an operator from signaling that a wheel has been fastened before the task is completed.

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl welcomed the changes to the directive.

"There was an update on the TD based on feedback that the FIA collected after they sent it out initially from the other teams, which makes sense from our point of view," said McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl.

"The main objective of this TD is, first of all, to make sure that pit stops are done in a safe way and anticipate, let’s say, also bad things to happen.

"And second thing is it should also ensure that we all have a level playing field in terms of the interpretation or the application of the regulations. So we are happy with that."

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