Red Bull paint target on McLaren’s pit box after claiming world record stop

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull's Max Verstappen races McLaren's Oscar Piastri at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen races McLaren's Oscar Piastri.

McLaren are the proud new record holder of the fastest ever F1 pit stop, but Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley says beating it is a challenge the team want to take on.

During the F1 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, McLaren completed a remarkable 1.8-second stop on Lando Norris’ MCL60, that beating the previous F1 pit-stop benchmark of 1.82 seconds set by Red Bull at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.

A recent Guinness World Records visit to the McLaren Technology Centre certified that this was the fastest pit stop in Formula 1 history.

Red Bull out to take pit-stop crown back from McLaren

F1 2023 was a campaign of remarkable dominance for Red Bull as they won 21 of the 22 grands prix, while for the sixth year in a row, they secured the DHL pit-stop standings trophy, though McLaren claiming that record time will sting.

Wheatley said as much when appearing on the Talking Bull podcast, joking that after “a couple of weeks of therapy” he can now talk about that 1.8s McLaren pit stop.

In all seriousness though, he praised McLaren for the “amazing job” done to set that record, as he warned their rivals from Woking that Red Bull plan on keeping to their pit-stop strategy and predicts it will “all click together” as they look to take this particularly crown back.

Red Bull has already been doing some extreme practice by pulling off a pit stop in complete darkness.

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“What we saw with the McLaren stuff, and I’m totally happy talking about it after a couple of weeks of therapy, is an incredibly well-executed pit stop by every single person,” said Wheatley.

“All 22 of them, including the driver. And hats off to them, they did an amazing job.

“But, our goal is to keep doing the lowest average times of everyone and at some point, it’ll all click together and yeah, I’d be lying if I said it’s not a target to beat it.”

McLaren will very much be hoping that their Red Bull battle is not confined to the pit lane in F1 2024, as the team look to build on the huge momentum generated in their latest campaign.

A string of upgrades for the MCL60 transformed that challenger from one of the grid’s slowest into a consistent podium challenger, with nine scored across the season, while McLaren’s Oscar Piastri beat Red Bull’s three-time World Champion Max Verstappen to sprint victory in Qatar.

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