Ferrari: the secret room for lightning pit stops. Mechanics forced to follow a diet and go to the gym

Of Daniele Sparisci, sent to Maranello

In Maranello 40 exercises a day before the championship, those who change tires are forced to go to the gym three times a week and follow a special diet

Inside the big white room in the basement is a single-seater sitting on the tracks, comes from Ferrari 2018 with which Vettel and Raikkonen raced
. They removed the petrol engine to replace it with an electric one (otherwise you know I smoke…), but the acceleration arriving on the pitch is exactly that of a real F1 returning to the pit lane. Inside there are no Leclerc or Sainz, but a mechanic. The tire changers know it by heart, every day on average they carry out 20 workouts in the Pit Training Facility, at this stage of the season — less than two months after the start of the championship, March 5 in Bahrain (at this link the 2023 calendar)
— double to get to 40.

Two groups are involved: that of the starters and that of the reserves, the second lines ready to take over in a season of 23 GPs. The goal – explains Diego Ioverno, head of vehicle operations – to get to the first GP with at least 1000 repetitions: an important effort for the body. Especially for those who handle nut-unscrewing guns, if one is not used to using them they make your shoulder pop out. Gunslingers like everyone else follow a diet controlled by a nutritionist: it is important that they are in good shape, because they work long hours and travel all over the world.

Everyone forced to train in the gym, at least three times a week, under the guidance of a personal trainer. Those who are more in age are usually set up as controllers, i.e. the one who observes the exit angle by giving the command to release the machine. It means being able to re-enter the pit lane from the garage, avoiding the unsafe release. A good pit stop doesn’t make you win – continues Ioverno – but a wrong one makes you lose. Making the pit stop faster is nice, but the goal is not that of limiting mistakes.

Some oversights cost you dearly at Ferrari last season, and one of the reasons for the personnel preparation, not everyone was on the same level. This is why we are intensifying training sessions, to have that part of the staff on rotation ready for the real GPs. The tire change record (with the new generation of 2022 machines) 1″98, was set by McLaren in Mexico, the absolute one the 1″82 by Red Bull in Brazil in 2021. But here we’ve also dropped to 1″ 65, but an unrepeatable time on the track.

How hard they are to fake inside of the Pit Training Facility, the anxiety, the traffic in the pit lane, the mistake of a driver who stops a few centimeters ahead of the pitch, a die that doesn’t work. But we try anyway, with surprise calls and other tricks, we need to train not only the muscles but also the eyes. Pit-stops are divided into different categories: those over 4”5 are unsuccessful, those under 3” are considered good. Ferrari made 73% of their stops within the latter threshold (Red Bull stopped at 71%) against a target of 80%. For this championship, the bar is raised to 84% with the aim of reducing failed pit stops by 9%. Mercedes has reduced them to 4%, but has chosen to make stops much slower than the others.

February 1, 2023 (change February 1, 2023 | 5:39 pm)

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Ferrari: the secret room for lightning pit stops. Mechanics forced to follow a diet and go to the gym

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