Formula 1 Pit Crew Roles And Duties
Although Formula 1 drivers are often the face and superstars of their racing teams, they are not the only ones training to compete for victory on the track. The pit crew of an F1 team is a well-oiled machine, and without a dedicated pit crew, no driver would even make it to the finish line. What are the roles within an F1 pit crew? Keep reading to find out.
Pit Crew Members
Here is a list of the members of a Formula 1 pit crew:
- Front Jack (2 each)
- Rear Jack (2 each)
- Steadier/Side Jack (2 each)
- Gunner (4 each)
- Wheel Off Crew (4 each)
- Wheel On Crew (4 each)
- Front Wing Flap Adjust (2 each)
- Pit Stop Controller
The mechanics of an F1 team are most likely the pit crew members you think of when thinking of a Formula 1 pit stop. The mechanics deal with engine repair and fixing general issues during or after the course of a race. Another important duty that often falls to F1 mechanics, which is often the most exciting part of a pit break to watch, is tire changing.
In fact, tire-changing mechanics have designated roles for who is jacking the car and who is removing or replacing lug nuts. The most prominent members of a pit stop include the front jack crew members, the gunners, the rear jack crew members, the wheel off crew members, and the wheel on crew members.
Beyond their duties during the course of a race, the mechanics of an F1 pit crew are also responsible for maintaining the car and preparing the vehicle for the next race. The changes made by mechanics post-race are determined and analyzed by the race team’s engineers.
As an F1 racer enters the pit area, the various pit crew teams rush to perform their specific function of the pit stop. The front jack crew member is the first one to step up to a pit stop. Their role is to jack the car up and get the front end of the racing team's vehicle off the ground.
On the opposite end of the vehicle, the rear jack crew member is in charge of raising the rear of the vehicle.
The steadier and side jack crew members hold the jack while the front and rear jack crew members are conducting their duties to ensure that the jack doesn't wobble or to assist if the jack crew members need help lifting the car.
Once the F1 car has been lifted, four gunners armed with wheel guns, approach the vehicle. The wheel guns are a tool used to quickly and efficiently remove lug nuts from wheels so they can be exchanged in a very time-conserving manner.
Wheel Off and Wheel On
Once the gunners remove the lug nuts, the wheel off crew takes the wheels off the vehicle in preparation for the wheel on team to replace the worn out wheels with fresh tires. The gunners then tighten the lug nuts on the new wheels, and the car is cleared to reenter the track.
Front Wing Flap Adjust
The front wing flap adjuster crew is in charge of adjusting the front wing of the vehicle if it is deemed necessary due to damage or performance-related issues.
Pit Stop Controller
The pit stop controller, formerly known as the lollipop man (or woman), plays an incredibly important role during the course of a Formula 1 pit stop. The pit stop controller can be identified by the lollipop-shaped sign they carry while performing their duties.
The pit stop controller holds the sign in front of a car while it is in the process of a pit stop. Since a driver cannot see every angle of the car, the pit stop controller is there to let the driver know when it is safe to return to the track and continue a race after the pit stop is completed. Without the pit stop controller, the driver would be delayed in getting back on the track or, worse, be responsible for hitting a pit crew member.
What are the pit crew positions in Formula 1?
The pit crew of a Formula 1 team is made up of a variety of positions. These categories include front jack, rear jack, steadier or side jack, gunner, wheel off, wheel on, front wing flap adjust, and pit stop controller. Each of these positions plays an important role in the smooth functioning of a Formula 1 team, both during an F1 event and when preparing for an event.