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Stake F1 Team

Stake provide pit stop update after disastrous opening rounds

Xevi Pujolar says he is “happy” with the pit stops of his Stake F1 team during the Japanese Grand Prix, contrasting them against the issues Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu endured in the opening three rounds of the year.

To news overview © XPBimages

Stake F1 racing director Xevi Pujolar addressed his team’s pit stop improvements at the Japanese Grand Prix, having been blighted by issues throughout the first three weekends of the 2024 Formula 1 season.

Whilst Zhou Guanyu had to retire with a gearbox issue on lap 20, Valtteri Bottas had been able to fight amongst the upper midfield before ultimately settling for P14.

A hardware problem has thwarted Stake’s pit stops so far this year, masking its true race pace and rendering the team unable to compete for points – Stake is one of three teams yet to get off the mark after four rounds.

Due to a change in front suspension philosophy for the 2024 campaign, the team has not been able to revert to previous equipment, forcing it to seek a new solution to the issue, which was not detected during pre-season testing.

Stake still suffered slower than average pit stops at the Japanese Grand Prix compared to its rivals but Pujolar told media including RacingNews365 that he was “happy” with them.

“If you look at where we were in race one, two and three, today I was happy with the pit stops we had,” he said.

“We can see that some guys are having faster pit stops, yes – it’s a work-in-progress.”

'The pit stops were reliable'

Both Pujolar and Bottas have voiced support for Stake’s pit stop crew in recent weeks, highlighting that they are doing “everything correctly” and that there is “nothing wrong” with their performance.

At Suzuka, most teams saw an overall pit stop time loss of around 23 to 24 seconds. Bottas’ first stop was just under 25 seconds, whilst Zhou’s was around a second faster.

Zhou had to pit again just a few laps later amid his gearbox issues, but when Bottas came in with the gaggle of cars fighting for the final points-paying position on lap 22, his stop of just under 26 seconds caused him to lose out to those around him.

Despite the setback, Pujolar was focused on the positives.

“Overall, I would say we made big progress. We didn’t have a disaster,” he affirmed.

“The pit stops were reliable. Now, first, we wanted to be pit stops reliable – consistency. Then we will go for speed and performance.”

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