More than just stopping
A Formula 1® pit stop is much more than just stopping, changing tires and accelerating away. Perfect planning and absolute precision at breathtaking speed are needed to get it right first time. Pit stops are just one example of how Formula 1 is a team sport.
The DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award was established in 2015 to recognize outstanding teamwork and performance from the unsung heroes who make a vital contribution to the drivers’ success on the track.
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Fastest Pit Stop Video
DHL Fastest Pit Stop for Charles Leclerc followed by frustrating Spanish GP retirement
Charles Leclerc and Ferrari had been on course for their third win of the season at the Spanish GP. Leclerc had beautifully converted his pole position into the race lead and controlled everything from that point on, with his team helping him as best as they could by delivering the DHL Fastest Pit Stop. But it all fell apart for Leclerc shortly before the half-way point of the race.
It really had looked like it was going to be Leclerc’s second perfect race, much like the Australian GP which he had dominated earlier this year. By Lap 26, he had already built a 12-second gap to second place, which he set out to carefully maintain as he had a clear pace advantage over the opposition. On top of that, Leclerc’s championship rival Max Verstappen had dropped back to third following an early trip through the gravel trap.
There truly seemed nothing that could stop Leclerc. He was fastest on track, and his mechanics were fastest in the pits as well. His first pit stop on Lap 21 lasted just 2.23 seconds. That was not only the DHL Fastest Pit Stop of the Spanish GP, but also the fastest pit stop of the season so far.
On Lap 26, the win then slipped away from Leclerc, who could do absolutely nothing about it. An as yet unknown issue with his Ferrari engine meant that he suddenly lost power, and all he could do was nurse the car into the pit lane and park it. Gone was not just the race win, but also his championship lead, as Leclerc’s DNF handed rival Verstappen a second chance which he converted into another race win.
Leclerc afterwards tried his best to focus on all the positives: "Of course this one hurt, because we were in front all weekend and worked really well. I know that things like this can happen sometimes and in moments like these, it is important to look at the positives. Our pace was very strong in qualifying and in the race and the feeling in the car was really good."