Red Bull’s Sporting Director Jonathan Wheatley has reminded Mercedes of a key advantage heading into the new season as Max Verstappen looks to defend his title in 2022. For the fourth consecutive year, Red Bull set the fastest time for a pit stop at just 1.88 seconds during Verstappen’s pit stop at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Renowned for their speedy stops, Wheatley shed some light on exactly how the team has consistently remained top of the times.
“I think one of the most exciting and interesting aspects of my role is the overall responsibility for the team’s pit stop performance,” Wheatley said in a video for the Red Bull website.
“It can be a bit of a double-edged sword. Things don’t always go right. But it’s something that I’ve taken a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for and I’ve enjoyed so much over the years.
“The team’s had an extraordinary four years, success in the DHL trophy four years in a row. I think that consistency, that desire to be the fastest, to be the best at what we do, and also to be the safest at what we do, it’s in the team, in our bones, in our DNA.
“Fundamentally, you have to start by looking for somebody who’s got great core stability, it’s human performance.
“A pit stop can often be confused for this bit of equipment or that bit of equipment but, ultimately, it’s a human endeavour.
“So we work very hard with the guys in terms of their mindset and also with their core stability. You don’t want any injuries, you want the same people at the last race as at the first race. We are entering a new phase in Formula 1, the 2022 cars with 18-inch wheels, big heavy wheels.
“Frankly, as I sit here today, we haven’t even tried one pitstop practice with those types of wheels so it’s just going to take an entirely different dynamic next year. There’s going to be massive key in getting consistency and that’s what we’ll be working on all winter.”
Red Bull picked up its first title since 2013 as Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the title in Abu Dhabi after a season-long battle between their pair.
Despite it ending under contentious circumstances, Wheatley paid homage to the pit crew.