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Mercedes reveal 'fair chunk' gain in crucial F1 area

Last year Mercedes ranked only eighth of the 10 F1 teams regarding a key component of a grand prix.

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Mercedes has revealed how a "full spectrum effort" has resulted in a dramatic turnaround in a crucial area of F1 performance.

The team has long known that pit stops has been an Achilles heel. Last year it ranked only eighth of the 10 teams in the DHL Fastest Pit Stop award that has been in place since 2015 to recognise a facet of a team's on-track performance that is often overlooked.

Over the winter, Mercedes opted to upgrade its equipment to ensure it could lower its times, which can mean the difference in the team pulling off an undercut or overcut against one of its rivals.

In tandem with a concerted effort in training, Mercedes has improved. In Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix, it managed times for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell of around 2.2, 2.4s.

"It is a full spectrum effort,:" said technical director James Allison. "If we had run last year's equipment into this year, it would have been impossible, no matter how much the guys had trained, to get the sort of pit stop times we are doing now.

"We knew that we were not competitive with our stops last year, so we invested a good chunk of effort into the fine detail of the corners of the car, such that the wheel nuts and the wheels can come on and off more quickly, and with a wider range of application error by the gunmen.

"A big effort from all the people in mechanical design to focus on those tiny details, then make all the bits, then test all the bits in T&D (test and development).

"Once we had made the leap forward with the hardware, then it is over to the pit crews, who, in addition to building the car before the race weekend, working every hour God sends on it during the race weekend and afterwards, in the tiny slots in between, they are, at every opportunity they get, wheeling out the car and practicing.

"Getting that amount of choreographed, coordinated activity, which looks beautiful when you see it on the television, does not happen without an enormous amount of practice."

Allison declared the team is now "very pleased" with its pit-stop performance which has "moved forward a fair chunk".

He added: "You always feel with pit stops, no matter how much training is done and how much you invest into the hardware, there is always a sword of Damocles hanging over them."

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