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Helmut Marko

Marko furious with Mercedes: They want to steal our pit stop advantage

Red Bull's Helmut Marko isn't happy with the new Technical Directive aimed at slowing down pit stops, saying its been pushed by Mercedes.

Perez Baku
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull's Helmut Marko isn't happy with how the FIA have brought through a new Technical Directive aimed at slowing down the pit stops.

Red Bull have been the standard setters in the pit lane, frequently turning their cars around faster than anyone else can manage. But that advantage is set to be nullified by the new Directive, with the intent of the FIA being to prevent the teams from going faster than human reaction time.

To this end, the FIA have introduced a mandatory 0.15 second response time between the wheelnuts being tightened and the mechanic signalling it's done. Any quicker, and it's viewed as beyond what's possible as a reaction time.

"Mercedes pushed it because they wanted to steal our advantage during pit stops," an annoyed Marko told Auto Motor und Sport.

"We lose up to four tenths. Seven years of work and training have gone into the consistency and speed of our pit stops."

Marko had seen the issue coming in advance, explaining before the French Grand Prix that Mercedes had targeted their pit stops. It's the latest chapter in an ongoing off-track war between Red Bull and Mercedes, with the RB16B's flexing rear wing forced to become more rigid following a different Technical Directive after Mercedes highlighted it during the Spanish GP weekend.

The FIA are slowing down the stops in the name of safety, which has met with the approval of some of the other teams.

"It was high time something happened. The rules demand that humans give the order. If you analyse Red Bull's pit stops, then some processes are below the human response time," Alpine operations manager Alan Permane told AMuS.

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