Pat Symonds is proud of Williams, who have emerged this year as the team with clearly the fastest pitstops in formula one.
With a car outpaced by Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari in 2016 and a smaller budget than the top three teams, Grove based Williams did, however, set an overall record stationary pitstop time of 1.89 seconds recently in Baku.
“The record is nice,” technical boss Pat Symonds said, “but the consistency is more important to me.
“In Baku, all three of our pitstops were in the top 4 (fastest) overall. That means more to me than the record,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
Remarkably, of the eight races so far this season, Williams has achieved the fastest overall pitstop on every single occasion — something never before seen in F1.
Not only that, a ‘bad’ Williams pitstop now stops the clocks at 3 seconds, with no more major problems recorded.
It is a remarkable turnaround for the famous British team, having been one of the worst pitstop crews of 2015.
“Our big problem was jamming wheel nuts,” said Symonds, who said pitstop equipment was all redesigned.
“I would say that the design of the parts accounts for the majority of our progress,” he explained.
“We supply some parts to Manor, and they also wanted our jacks, but it was embarrassing to ask them for so much money. They cost 60,000 pounds to produce.”
Another element, Symonds added, is that Williams is not overworking its crew with endless pitstop practice.
“We do not practice more, actually it’s less than before,” he said. “If you practice 25 pitstops a day, the guys are tired and unfocused, and if they make mistakes, they lose confidence.”
Williams mechanics also do specific gym training, while pitstops are analysed by video. “Each stop is recorded and analysed in detail,” said Symonds.
“In Canada we had 2 stops. The pitstop report after the race was 16 pages long,” he smiled. “It’s the detail that makes the difference.”