Can Red Bull’s F1 Team Perform A Pit Stop In Complete Darkness?

Formula One teams practice pit stops so much, that it seems like they should be able to do it with their eyes closed

 Can Red Bull’s F1 Team Perform A Pit Stop In Complete Darkness?

Formula One is a very serious sport, with very serious stakes, but sometimes, after the season has finished, teams get to do something just for fun. The latest example of that is Red Bull’s recent attempt to complete a pit stop in complete darkness.

Since every millisecond counts in an F1 race, teams do everything they can to minimize their time in the pits, and good stops tend to last just two seconds. Therefore, every tire change is a performance that requires precision, practice, and muscle memory from the people involved in it.

That inevitably leads to the question: could they do it with their eyes closed? To find out, Red Bull put its mechanics in a garage and told them it would be measuring their performance with all the lights turned out, and filming it for the world to see.

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Read: McLaren Breaks F1 Pit Stop World Record With 1.80-Second Tire Change At Qatar GP

However, first, the team was allowed to practice with their helmet visors blacked out. And it quickly became apparent that, yes, the team can perform a pit stop with their eyes closed. Impressively, from the very first attempt, it took them less than 10 seconds to change all four tires.

But that wasn’t good enough for the type of competitive people who join an F1 team like Red Bull. So they decided to practice, and try to get as close to their race time as possible. And when they tried to speed up, things started getting tricky.

From stripping nuts (a phenomenon that becomes much more visible in utter blackness) to simply missing the tire completely, the team struggled, but eventually managed to cut its time down to less than five seconds. Although that would be considered a bad time during a Grand Prix, it is certainly not unheard of for stops to take that long with full visibility.

But the team kept practicing, and trying, and ultimately managed a time of 2.84 seconds. Although that would be considered sub-optimal during a race, it wouldn’t be considered bad. Moreover, it’s just 1.4 seconds slower than the fastest-ever pit stop, which was set by McLaren at the Qatar Grand Prix this year.

Red Bull

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