Williams F1… in the pits
When I was a child (many… many years ago) we were doing an exercise in class at school. We were told to reach as high as we could possibly reach. We all did so, while being measured against the wall, where a ruler had been affixed.
Then we were instructed to reach even higher. Without questioning our instructor or her instructions, we all attempted to outreach ourselves. Interestingly, we all (but a few) were able to reach slightly higher than previously measured. This was an important life lesson for me. One which I still remember and one which (obviously) Williams F1 racing has nonetheless also learned.
It wasn’t long ago (2013) that Red Bull Racing broke the 2 second barrier with a pit stop of 1.923s in Austin Texas at the US Grand Prix. The same team which had set the record earlier that season at 2.05s. Changing all four wheels on an F1 car, wiping a visor, clearing the sidepods etc… is a daunting task in twice that time. With the pressures of losing (or gaining) track position omnipresent and notwithstanding, F1 teams continually push the envelope. Even when improvement appears to be unreachable, you have teams such as Williams F1 who dig deeper to find that fraction of a second to prove that impossible is nothing.
Williams has been simply unbeatable in the pits this season. They have consistently recorded the quickest pit stops in F1 in every single race. The law of diminishing returns however continues to be proven as even sub-2 second pit stops aren’t always enough to make a difference on the track. Even still, Williams sits in 4th overall, 31 points ahead of a surging Force India and 50 points back of a hopeful Ferrari.
I tip my hat to the Williams team and in particular, their pit crew.