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Stake F1 Team

Stake F1 explain reason behind detrimental pit stops

Stake F1 has endured a difficult start to the 2024 F1 season as it has faced pit-stop difficulties at every round this year.

Bottas Saudi race
To news overview © XPBimages

Stake F1’s start to the 2024 season has been overshadowed by its lacklustre pit stops during the first three grands prix.

At the campaign-opening event in Bahrain, a 52.4-second stop cemented a difficult return to the track for the team, with Valtteri Bottas classified in 19th place.

Its issues were not eradicated for the following event in Saudi Arabia as team-mate Zhou Guanyu was held up in the pit lane, ruining the Chinese driver’s chance of a points finish.

The team outlined that it would investigate the matter with the hope of implementing a fix ahead of the following round in Australia, but the issue resurfaced in Melbourne on Bottas’ car. Zhou, too, suffered a lengthy stop, however, this centred around a gearbox and anti-stall issue.

With pit stops playing such a crucial role in the outcome of the race, any potential top-10 finish is immediately undone by the calamities in the pit lane.

But why is Stake struggling so much to execute its pit stops?

What is the problem with Stake F1 pit stops?

Stake’s average pit-stop time at the opening three events makes for sombre reading.

In an era when sub-three-second pit stops are the norm, Stake's woes ensure it has little chance to take the reward of points away from a race weekend.

Stake F1 Pit Stops

Race Stake F1 Average Pit Stop Time
Bahrain 15.635s
Saudi Arabia 12.490s
Australia 14.603s

Stake's racing director Xevi Pujolar affirmed that “the crew are doing everything correctly” and the issues are surfacing due to “a problem with the hardware”.

The concerns were not evident during pre-season testing in Bahrain and have not been experienced during free practice sessions.

But in the critical race outings, the problems arise and revoke all of the weekend efforts inputted by the team.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365, Pujolar explained the hitch is centred around the entire wheel unit.

“It’s the whole system. Not the guns, but the hub and wheel nut,” he said. “I think I’m afraid the final solution will take a bit longer.”

When asked if the team could switch back to last year's components after making fundamental changes in an attempt to speed up pit stops for 2024, Pujolar replied: “If it was as easy as that!

“Because the front suspension, everything [is] different with the pullrod, it doesn’t work.

“We’ve got external suppliers. But it doesn’t matter, they are complex, it’s not a few days.”

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Stake now sit ninth in the constructors' championship and is one of only three teams that has failed to score a point in the opening three events.

Despite the concern, Pujolar insisted the team is not in a state of panic as he expressed sympathy for the mechanics.

“For sure it is frustrating for everybody, for the drivers,” he said. “But the same for us, and for the whole team, you see that the performance is good, we are there.

“And for the mechanics, imagine how every time now it’s difficult for everybody.

“We just need to remain calm, find the positive side of the race weekend, and see that we are actually all very close.

“We have five teams that can compete for this P6. It’s race three.”

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