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McLaren pitstops 2012


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#1 Disgrace

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:59

Appalling McLaren pitstops appear to be a theme all year, and rears its head each race so I reckon it deserves a thread of its own.

There have been fumbled wheels, cross-threaded wheels, running over of a wheel gun and now a front jack failure.

What is the problem? Man or machine?

Edited by Disgrace, 24 June 2012 - 13:00.


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#2 Coops3

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:40

I can't believe more hasn't been said about this.

I think it's fairly likely Lewis' second stop cost him the win yesterday. It's a bitter pill to swallow.

#3 krapmeister

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:42

Sam Michael - the man with the golden touch...

#4 Coops3

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:48

Sam Michael - the man with the golden touch...


Easy to blame Sam Michael, as the problems started when he came aboard. But is that really the problem? I'm not convinced...

#5 Gareth

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:49

I was struck watching the penalty shoot out last night of the similarity between penalties and pit stops. Both are all about performing under pressure. In both, failure leads to more pressure which leads to a higher chance of future failure.

IMO, McLaren have been in a bit of an unfortunate spiral recently - where failures have caused more pressure, which in turn lead to more failures, which in turn leads to more pressure. It reminds me of the phase Ferrari went through in 2008.

#6 Massa

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:49

Perhaps they need Pat Fry :o

#7 Trust

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:50

It's ****ing disgrace!

#8 Kimiraikkonen

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:50

I can't believe more hasn't been said about this.

I think it's fairly likely Lewis' second stop cost him the win yesterday. It's a bitter pill to swallow.



Totally agreed :up:

#9 bub

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:51

Has any team had worse pitstops this year?

#10 Peter3hg

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:52

They need to forget about refining the stops to the nth degree. Aim for 4 seconds rather than the low 3s, which they must be going for now, and I bet the average pit stop time would come right down with a lot less mistakes.

#11 pdac

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:53

Does anyone know if the resource restrictions prohibit a team from just putting a car in a suitable place and having the pit crew jack it up, change the wheels and drop it down again all day long for a few days? If not, I think McLaren should try it.

#12 Jon83

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:56

They are making a lot of mistakes.

As for other teams, I don't know. There isn't anywhere near as much focus on a Toro Rosso, FI or HRT pit stop so difficult to tell from viewing alone. I'm sure somebody somewhere has the figures though for these teams.

No doubt though, they have cost McLaren dear so far.

#13 krapmeister

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:57

Easy to blame Sam Michael, as the problems started when he came aboard. But is that really the problem? I'm not convinced...


From Mclaren PR blurb:

As Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ Sporting Director, Sam will join the senior management team in addition to taking specific responsibility for the development and management of the team’s trackside operations. His vast experience and profound understanding of race operations will enhance the team’s on-track capability, adding significantly to its already impressive technical management strength-in-depth


Well it is sort of a strange co-incidence isn't it?

But I also agree with Gareth, that they are in a bit of an unfortunate spiral - I can only imagine the pressure the pit crew are feeling when Hammy comes flying into the pitbox again...



#14 seahawk

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:07

I am sure they are doing enough practice pitstops. Increasing the pressure on the pit crew won´t improve the pitstops.

#15 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 13:04

IMO, McLaren have been in a bit of an unfortunate spiral recently - where failures have caused more pressure, which in turn lead to more failures, which in turn leads to more pressure. It reminds me of the phase Ferrari went through in 2008.


Pitstops would normally be practiced by the mechanics each day for around 1 hour. It is done this way in Indycar, touring cars etc. So how hard can it be? They should know what they are doing.

To have about 1 bad pitstop out of 2 is ridiculous.

#16 radosav

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 13:06

as alonso fan, i have no problems with mclaren pit stops

#17 robefc

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 13:08

Pitstops would normally be practiced by the mechanics each day for around 1 hour. It is done this way in Indycar, touring cars etc. So how hard can it be? They should know what they are doing.

To have about 1 bad pitstop out of 2 is ridiculous.


It was 1 out of 4 on sunday and the other 3 were bloody good.

Given it was equipment failure perhaps we can put it down as an abberation that won't be repeated and concentrate on the fact the pit stop team have got their act togehter pretty well?

An opimistic view perhaps...

#18 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 13:08

I am sure they are doing enough practice pitstops. Increasing the pressure on the pit crew won´t improve the pitstops.

If you do 120 pit stops a day... just 4/minute for 40 minutes, there is no way you could be that bad at them.

That's 1200 pitstops to prepare for each grand prix, simple.

Generates a quantifiable database of pitstop practice times - I have heard databases are very popular at Paragon. :)

1. turn it into a mini competition, the best times get the duties on the car.
2. saves the mechanics from going to the gym to prepare for the pitstops too (although puny f1 wheels are extremely light :rolleyes: yet somehow need 3 people to change them, absurd).

Use a mp4-26 with all the crew there (apart from the starter), easy.

Edited by V8 Fireworks, 25 June 2012 - 13:10.


#19 seahawk

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 13:17

Does anybody believe the mechanics do not know how to make a perfect pit stop? They had some bad luck (equipment failed) and some faults. Faults in such a high stress professional enviroment are hardly based on a lack of training, but rather on too much pressure. The leadership needs to install confidence in the mechanics and reduce the pressure they feel.

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#20 Jon83

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 13:36

Does anybody believe the mechanics do not know how to make a perfect pit stop? They had some bad luck (equipment failed) and some faults. Faults in such a high stress professional enviroment are hardly based on a lack of training, but rather on too much pressure. The leadership needs to install confidence in the mechanics and reduce the pressure they feel.


We'd need to see McLaren's pit stop records from 2010 and 2011 to answer that one.

I'm sure these guys are as good as anyone else in the pitlane. It's really hard to explain their problems but the cold fact is that it really isn't good enough for a team like McLaren.

Edited by Jon83, 25 June 2012 - 13:36.


#21 undersquare

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 14:37

Well yesterday's was a double cockup. Triple:

The front jack was not well designed.

It was not adequately tested.

The standby jack man didn't lift the car fully.


This is is some weeks after the rear jack didn't work properly, TWICE, and was redesigned.

So their whole process is inadequate.

#22 David M. Kane

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 18:21

Maybe they are trying TOO Hard; that can force a mistake.

#23 undersquare

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 18:44

Maybe they are trying TOO Hard; that can force a mistake.

Too hard in the sense of rushing and not engineering things properly, I suppose. I reckon Ron is more likely to see it as not trying hard enough though - not starting out with a solid procedure and following it.

And not fixing the process when it produced the rear jack failure.

#24 Kingshark

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 18:51

At least Mclaren has made many good strategy work. You can't say the same about Mercedes. :drunk:

#25 Ferrari2183

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 19:13

I honestly feel for Hamilton. The guy is driving the wheels off that McLaren but the pit crew always hinder him.

Unfortunately I don't have nice words for McLaren.

#26 Watkins74

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 19:19

I honestly feel for Hamilton. The guy is driving the wheels off that McLaren but the pit crew always hinder him.

Unfortunately I don't have nice words for McLaren.

I agree. Not a big Hammie fan but that pit crew is terrible. Ron Dennis must be getting old because I am shocked he hasn't handled this situation personally.

#27 PNSD

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 19:32

I agree. Not a big Hammie fan but that pit crew is terrible. Ron Dennis must be getting old because I am shocked he hasn't handled this situation personally.


Was he really any better?

The team lost the WCC thanks to the largest espionage case in the sports history. Aside from that under his reign there were also many clumsy team mistakes. They arguably made 98 and 99 harder than they should have been, and the 2000 season should have been 3 in a row.

As a team, Mclaren have never been that amazing, or at least they have not often experienced the same level of operational perfection Williams once did, Ferrari, RedBull and even Renault had in the past.

People are simply using Whitmarsh as an obvious scapegoat. Memories are not long enough to look back on the errors under Ron, which surely the £100million fine and loss of WCC was the largest.

It should be remembered that Mclaren have often appeared better than they are (as a team) due to specific drivers. Senna, Mika and arguably Lewis too. If people viewed history the way it should be, they might also see this but to blame Whitmarsh for everything is far easier ;)

edit - Look recently at 2006? Im sure there were a few strategic errors which cost wins that season.

Edited by PNSD, 25 June 2012 - 19:33.


#28 Watkins74

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 19:36

Was he really any better?

The team lost the WCC thanks to the largest espionage case in the sports history. Aside from that under his reign there were also many clumsy team mistakes. They arguably made 98 and 99 harder than they should have been, and the 2000 season should have been 3 in a row.

As a team, Mclaren have never been that amazing, or at least they have not often experienced the same level of operational perfection Williams once did, Ferrari, RedBull and even Renault had in the past.

People are simply using Whitmarsh as an obvious scapegoat. Memories are not long enough to look back on the errors under Ron, which surely the £100million fine and loss of WCC was the largest.

It should be remembered that Mclaren have often appeared better than they are (as a team) due to specific drivers. Senna, Mika and arguably Lewis too. If people viewed history the way it should be, they might also see this but to blame Whitmarsh for everything is far easier ;)

edit - Look recently at 2006? Im sure there were a few strategic errors which cost wins that season.

OK. You have changed my mind. All good points. :smoking:

#29 Coops3

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 20:31

Was he really any better?

The team lost the WCC thanks to the largest espionage case in the sports history. Aside from that under his reign there were also many clumsy team mistakes. They arguably made 98 and 99 harder than they should have been, and the 2000 season should have been 3 in a row.

As a team, Mclaren have never been that amazing, or at least they have not often experienced the same level of operational perfection Williams once did, Ferrari, RedBull and even Renault had in the past.

People are simply using Whitmarsh as an obvious scapegoat. Memories are not long enough to look back on the errors under Ron, which surely the £100million fine and loss of WCC was the largest.

It should be remembered that Mclaren have often appeared better than they are (as a team) due to specific drivers. Senna, Mika and arguably Lewis too. If people viewed history the way it should be, they might also see this but to blame Whitmarsh for everything is far easier ;)

edit - Look recently at 2006? Im sure there were a few strategic errors which cost wins that season.


I don't think I agree that McLaren historically have appeared better than they are, but regardless, this is specifically about their pit stops this year, not about general operational performance. You can't deny they're worse than they've ever been. Now I'm not saying I know why this is, but it's undeniable IMO.


#30 pingu666

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 20:48

its a people problem, they fumble and panic abit, probably try to go too fast. the equipment issues are also there own fault, its their designs made inhouse, or atleast stuff they have picked.

they need a nascar pit coach and some mental health people to get the crew to perform consistly well.

#31 PNSD

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 20:50

its a people problem, they fumble and panic abit, probably try to go too fast. the equipment issues are also there own fault, its their designs made inhouse, or atleast stuff they have picked.

they need a nascar pit coach and some mental health people to get the crew to perform consistly well.


I believe many of the teams do have such resources.

#32 PNSD

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 20:54

I don't think I agree that McLaren historically have appeared better than they are, but regardless, this is specifically about their pit stops this year, not about general operational performance. You can't deny they're worse than they've ever been. Now I'm not saying I know why this is, but it's undeniable IMO.


I agree the frequency of errors has been rather large, but my point about it all is, how can Whitmarsh be blamed for this? Certain individuals seem to want to hang him for it!

The stops in Canada were generally fine, and the stops in Valencia, before the jack problem were the best of any team IIRC. Lewis did a 2.9 stop and Button a 3.2 and 3.6?

Pit stop times have decreased a lot since 2009, and further since 2010 and 2011. All this adds pressure on the crew, and errors are likely in this situation.

Other teams will have errors in future races because it is part of the sport, and it is something you can not stop or ever prevent from happening. My whole point is about trying to keep Whitmarsh free from blame because it is not his fault at all.

#33 ali.unal

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 21:26

Sam Michael adamant McLaren lose everything
After leaving Williams following a disastrous campaign in Formula 1 2011 season, former Williams technical director Sam Michael is now heading to Woking based team McLaren to work as Sporting Director.

Having being worked at Williams from 2001, Michael had been appointed as Technical Director in 2004, from which team had won only one race with the courtesy of Juan Pablo Montoya at Interlagos. During seven win-less season, Frank Williams eventually understood that something is wrong.

“We are very happy to finally get rid of Sam Michael. He’s like a virus spreading everywhere withing the team. After he came to the team, Pablo left us. Mark didn’t make it and went to Jaguar. We hired a guy named Nakajima for the money, which was in turn spent to repair his car. We are doomed. This is the turning point for us. We are sending our weakest chain to our main competitor… oh wait, once our main competitor. Now we are racing with Lotus (Caterham). No offence,” said Frank Williams in Williams FW14 trying to turn steering wheel.

Sam Michael didn’t comment on the comments from his old boss.

“I don’t want to comment further. He is now my competitor. I mean, not that competitor because they are fighting with Lotus (Caterham). No offence. From now on I want to talk on the track, on the factory and hopefully on BBC. We are a winning team and that mentality must change. We have to miss the taste of victory, so that we can be thirsty for wins and championships. That’s my approach to racing. At McLaren each year one of our drivers win a race or two, which is ridiculous. I am determined to change that fate.”

“We first wanted to give a gardening leave for Michael but Williams didn’t accept it,” said Whitmarsh. “We didn’t want to spoil our design team with the design philosophies of Williams but this is the situation we must accept. Sam is now part of our team so we can do nothing about it. I hope no one listens to him.”

Sam Michael is 40 years old and believes Trulli overtook Hamilton under yellow flag.

http://www.efbir.org...ose-everything/

It's a joke. My joke. I had written it last year. If not funny, sorry. No offence.

#34 MrPodium

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 21:33

"McLaren pitstops 2012" - topic starter : Disgrace

I could not think of a better forum user (name) to perfectly describle the Woking outfit's total ineptitude in this area of a grand prix weekend.

Even Natalie Pinkham fared better!

#35 Pyrone89

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 21:43

I can't believe more hasn't been said about this.

I think it's fairly likely Lewis' second stop cost him the win yesterday. It's a bitter pill to swallow.

I am pretty sure a mr C.liff and mr W.all cost him the victory even more. :rolleyes:

And don't forget that even Ferrari had some problems yesterday, as they almost send out Felipe out on 3 medium and 1 soft yesterday after his puncture? Still doesn't change the fact that it is hilarious this year to watch Macca stops, just like Macca laughed off its ass with the Ferrari pitstop fails that cost Felipe Massa the 2008 WDC.

Edited by Pyrone89, 25 June 2012 - 21:47.


#36 MrPodium

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 21:48

I am pretty sure a mr C.liff and mr W.all cost him the victory even more. :rolleyes:

And don't forget that even Ferrari had some problems yesterday, as they almost send out Felipe out on 3 medium and 1 soft yesterday after his puncture


Almost as much as Mr C.Razy and Mr M.Aldonado cost him. But hey ho, that's nothing to do with McLaren's abysmal pitstops.


#37 Pyrone89

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 21:57

Almost as much as Mr C.Razy and Mr M.Aldonado cost him. But hey ho, that's nothing to do with McLaren's abysmal pitstops.

Aren't those two the same guys :rotfl:

#38 MrPodium

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 22:00

Aren't those two the same guys :rotfl:


Errr.... Perhaps!  ;)

#39 jj2728

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 22:55

As a team, Mclaren have never been that amazing

It should be remembered that Mclaren have often appeared better than they are (as a team) due to specific drivers.


hmmmm, well McLaren has a fairly long history and I dare say their dominance in the Can Am series was not too shabby at all, they've also done rather well at Indy and pre-Senna they bagged a few WDCs.....

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#40 PNSD

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 23:07

hmmmm, well McLaren has a fairly long history and I dare say their dominance in the Can Am series was not too shabby at all, they've also done rather well at Indy and pre-Senna they bagged a few WDCs.....


Perhaps I should have been specific.

I was referring to comments constantly bashing Whitmarsh for such errors and the calls for Ron Dennis to come back. So judge my post in that respect.

But I thank you for reminding us all of Mclaren during the Can-Am years :D!! Whenever there is next a pitlane problem, you all need to go and watch this;

#41 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 23:09

Maybe they are trying TOO Hard; that can force a mistake.

Like I said...

If they practice with the new trolleyjack 1000 times then they should easily be able to find and replace inadequate equipment/procedures.

#42 Mc_Silver

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 23:09

Was he really any better?

The team lost the WCC thanks to the largest espionage case in the sports history. Aside from that under his reign there were also many clumsy team mistakes. They arguably made 98 and 99 harder than they should have been, and the 2000 season should have been 3 in a row.

As a team, Mclaren have never been that amazing, or at least they have not often experienced the same level of operational perfection Williams once did, Ferrari, RedBull and even Renault had in the past.

People are simply using Whitmarsh as an obvious scapegoat. Memories are not long enough to look back on the errors under Ron, which surely the £100million fine and loss of WCC was the largest.

It should be remembered that Mclaren have often appeared better than they are (as a team) due to specific drivers. Senna, Mika and arguably Lewis too. If people viewed history the way it should be, they might also see this but to blame Whitmarsh for everything is far easier ;)

edit - Look recently at 2006? Im sure there were a few strategic errors which cost wins that season.


Get real. If you think like that, you can say that it is the same with Ferrari and Red Bull. Alonso, Scumacher and Vettel made their teams look better than actually they are as a team?

Edited by Mc_Silver, 25 June 2012 - 23:10.


#43 Disgrace

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 23:10

I was struck watching the penalty shoot out last night of the similarity between penalties and pit stops. Both are all about performing under pressure. In both, failure leads to more pressure which leads to a higher chance of future failure.

IMO, McLaren have been in a bit of an unfortunate spiral recently - where failures have caused more pressure, which in turn lead to more failures, which in turn leads to more pressure. It reminds me of the phase Ferrari went through in 2008.


Interesting comparison. For smaller teams in general, they go through such phases on a lower level without heaps of public attention.

as alonso fan, i have no problems with mclaren pit stops


:p

Edited by Disgrace, 25 June 2012 - 23:12.


#44 Coops3

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:50

I was struck watching the penalty shoot out last night of the similarity between penalties and pit stops. Both are all about performing under pressure. In both, failure leads to more pressure which leads to a higher chance of future failure.

IMO, McLaren have been in a bit of an unfortunate spiral recently - where failures have caused more pressure, which in turn lead to more failures, which in turn leads to more pressure. It reminds me of the phase Ferrari went through in 2008.


I think this is by far the most plausible explanation suggested so far. Although I think it's fairly likely to be a combination of things, including plain and simple bad luck.

As someone else suggested though, the positive to all this is that it could work out well in the long run. Last year it didn't seem to me that McLaren were particularly fast at pit stops (maybe the figures will prove me wrong, but that's how it seemed). The steps they've taken to try and resolve the wheel problems have definitely improved the stops -when they go smoothly!

#45 johnhen

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:14

First off, I am not a McLaren hater. But it's absolutely no surprise that McLaren have only won the constructors title ONCE in the past TWENTY ONE years, that being FOURTEEN years ago. That statistic is actually quite shocking when you think of the drivers that have been there over that time, and the fact that McLaren are always a top 2-3 team.

It's been bad pitstops this year, but in the past it has been terrible stratagey calls, etc that have cost points and drivers races. As a team, Mclaren seem to cost their drivers a lot of points/wins, and possibly even championships (Kimi - retirements, that flat spotted tyre ?) Lewis - The tyres in china, Jenson - the car overheating in Monaco.

I'm sure there are more. Again I'm not bashing or hating, but more often then not I would say the team or the car has been at fault with McLaren over the years more times then the drivers.

#46 Coops3

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 13:04

Apparently, according to the Daily Telegraph, Lewis' first stop on Sunday was the fastest in motor sport racing history at 2.6 seconds!

#47 MeatPopsicle

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 13:26

would love to see a video of it if anyone has a link?

#48 ali.unal

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 13:27

Apparently, according to the Daily Telegraph, Lewis' first stop on Sunday was the fastest in motor sport racing history at 2.6 seconds!

It was fast. Total pit time: 19.355. Button's second stop was also good, 19.640. To put into perspective, Alonso's first pit stop time was 19.789. They are actually good, McLaren mechanics, but error prone due to equipment or human neglect.

#49 pup

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 17:06

Saving a tenth of a second on one stop doesn't do much good if you lose 5 seconds on the next.

#50 ZooL

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 17:48

McLaren are the worst team on the grid for pitstop time for the race event.