Red Bull take art of pit stops one step further with attempts in full darkness

Henry Valantine
The Red Bull crew complete a pit stop in complete darkness.

The Red Bull crew complete a pit stop in complete darkness.

Red Bull have completed a series of practice pit stops – nothing unusual about that, you might think – but they decided to challenge themselves by doing so in the pitch black.

After having three attempts with the crew blindfolded, they gave themselves 10 attempts with the lights at their Milton Keynes base turned out completely, relying on muscle memory alone to lift a car up, change all four tyres and drop it down again.

The teams complete thousands of practice stops per season and remarkably, even when they could not see, the Red Bull crew still managed a quickest time of 2.84 seconds.

Red Bull notch 2.84s pit stop in complete darkness

Red Bull set their pit crew the challenge of what they called the ‘Pitch Black Pit Stop’, with a car rolling into position and their team servicing it as they would relying on muscle memory alone, without the benefit of sight.

Initial attempts saw them around the 10-second mark as the team gathered their bearings and positioning, with the crew having won a sixth consecutive DHL Fastest Pit Stop award for their consistent and fast stops all season long in 2023.

But on their 10th and final attempt, they serviced the car in 2.84 seconds, which would have been a more than respectable time in the pressures of a race weekend, let alone without the ability to see what was going on.

Red Bull complete their Pitch Black Pit Stop.
The Red Bull crew set themselves the challenge of completing a pit stop in the pitch black. recommends

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“The Pitch Black Pit Stop was a challenge we could literally never see coming our way as a Race Team, but in typical Red Bull fashion, we have come to expect the unexpected!” Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley said.

“The sense of sight, being able to see the car, your team-mates and what you are doing are intrinsic to a successful pit stop, so having that taken away presented some serious hurdles.

“However, what soon became clear is how fluid the team are in their approach, communication, ability and cohesive spirt; that the task at hand was almost second nature.

“I was really proud of their performance. The time of 2.84 seconds is a strong stop even in broad daylight!

“I’m certainly not saying that I would like to turn the lights out in a race, but being able to pull this off so succinctly, in the pitch black, shows what a well-oiled machine the crew is and testament to the fact we have won six consecutive DHL’s Fastest Pit Stop Awards. Beautiful work.”

Red Bull’s world record pit stop time fell at the Qatar Grand Prix this year when the McLaren crew clocked a 1.80s stop on Lando Norris, which will no doubt set another battle off in the pit lane next season.

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