Amid all the champagne celebrations for Sebastian Vettel’s eighth win in a row in Austin on Sunday, Red Bull still found time to claim another Formula One record for the quickest ever pitstop.
The team said after the US Grand Prix that Australian Mark Webber had stopped in the pits for less than two seconds.
“The team’s car data recorded Mark as being stationary for just 1.923 seconds, an incredible feat,” Red Bull said on their website (www.infiniti-redbullracing.com).
Teams have been shaving fractions off pitstop times all season, with lightning-fast changes of tyres becoming a part of the show now that the more time-consuming process of refuelling is banned.
When McLaren set a record of 2.3 seconds at the 2012 German Grand Prix it seemed close to the limit but Red Bull said in Malaysia this year that they had done a 2.05 turnaround on Webber’s second stop.
They said at the time that the two-second mark was vulnerable.
“There’s always a quicker stop out there, and it’s possible this season we’ll see the magical two-second barrier breached at some point,” they had said on their website.
“However, rather than chasing individual times, improving consistency is always the thing coveted by the crew. Breaking records is merely the consequence of doing that well.”
Vettel, already the youngest quadruple world champion at 26, testified to that consistency at the US Grand Prix by becoming the first Formula One driver to win eight races in a row in a single season.
After his 12th win of 2013, the German has another record in his sights at next weekend’s finale in Brazil – the 13 wins in a season chalked up by compatriot Michael Schumacher with Ferrari in 2004.