72 mandatory pitstops per race

Guy Slick

Hi, I’m Guy Slick, Chief President and Vice Team Operations Principal of Scuderia Schattspeed Formula 1 Grand Prix Engineering Solutions Racing Team, and representative of the Formula One Teams’ Association.

As you know, at Fota we are always looking for ways to improve the show in order to acheive maximum optimal audience satisfaction. To this end, we have put together a working group known as the Show Heightening Initiation Team.

This working group has analysed exactly what the spectators like to see from the show. It has come up with some solutions that will enable us to strategically position grand prix racing at the very forefront of the excitement pinnacle.

Since the removal of refuelling from the strategy mix, there has been a perceived deficit in the participation of the strategy portion towards show excitement maximisation. We have discovered that there is still a considerable interest, among the audiences in the ‘dedicated’ and ‘potential’ categories, in the role that could be played by strategy in a show.

While our new tyre suppliers Pirelli have done a fantastic job in improving the show by initiating a necessity for additional pitstops, we still feel that there is potential improvement to be found in this area.

As such, we have put forward a proposal for there to be 72 mandatory pitstops per race. This will maximise time spent by drivers in the pitlane, widen up increased open possibilities for variable strategy decisions, and will inevitably result in further potential show excitement heightening maximisation.

It has been pointed out to that there are some potential flaws in our solution. But I can assure you that Fota have covered all the bases in the ‘unforeseen circumstances’ quadrant of the two-dimensional known / unknown / unknown / known solution viability field.

While it is true that most races do not contain 72 laps, we have put forward a proposal for all of the circuits to build additional pitlanes to allow drivers to take multiple pitstops per lap if required.

We are fully aware of the cost implications of this, so we have taken all measures necessary to reduce to cost to the teams. Each team will have just two mechanics per pitlane, and only one tyre can be changed at a time.

Some have expressed a concern that this initiative is a gimmick that will make a mockery of racing, with drivers racing on a mixture of fresh and old rubber, mixed compounds and reusing the same tyres over and over again. We are fully aware of these concerns, and are prepared to tweak the rule throughout the season if the desired consequences are not reached. Perhaps we could have 67 mandatory pitstops instead, or 80, or perhaps even π. We have an open mind on this.

There has also been a concern that spectators will not have a clue what is going on, and that the races will now be too complicated to follow. But do not worry. We have been working with TV broadcasters in assisting with the development of a new graphic that will signify to viewers something about tyres. The new graphic will even flash, so viewers are sure to be fully informed at all times.

Alternatively, we could just forget the show and hold a race, but that wouldn’t make us feel important enough.

1 comment