McLaren says it has solved its pit stop issues

© Ubaid Parkar, 5 July 2012
© AP Photo/ Waldrin Xhemaj, pool

McLaren has been determined to iron out the issues that has cost the team several promising results this season and believes that it may have found the solution ahead of its home race this weekend.

The British outfit has suffered due to operational issues with several of its pit stops which has cost its drivers valuable time during a race, the latest one affecting Lewis Hamilton at the preceding European GP.

But the British Grand Prix could see fortunes turning around.

“For consistency it’s important to have good equipment. But it’s also working on your people,” McLaren sporting director Sam Michael said during a Vodafone phone in session. “We have put a lot of effort into that with training schemes at the English Institute of Sport, working on our choreography in pit stops.

“Working in a pit stop is like being a goalkeeper in a football match: nobody really cares about it until it really matters and you have to deliver. You don’t have the ability to win a race but you do have the ability to lose one,” he went on to elaborate.

“Everyone has similar pains. Look at Red Bull in Montreal, they had a problem with a front-right tyre. Look at Ferrari in Valencia - the front-left tyre wasn’t even changed when they changed the front wing on (Felipe) Massa’s car. Mercedes are still having problems retaining wheel nuts. So we’re not unique in having issues with equipment or technical process,” he pointed out.

Michael said that the team has identified the problem with the front-jack in Valencia stating that the design has been modified for Silverstone.

"On Monday this week, we completed 800 pit stops on the jacking systems, with no faults at all,” he said. “So during a race weekend, we would probably do about 50 pit stops, including all of the practices. So effectively we did 16 Grand Prix weekends on Monday.

“So we believe that we have solved it, but at least we have done good due diligence on the new design we have got for Silverstone,” he hoped. “If we go there and have a fault we can say that we have done as much as we could, which is what we do in engineering.”


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