Q&A with Diego Ioverno Vehicle Operation Engineer
Among many areas that Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow must definitely improve for next season is the pit stop procedure. Going into the final round of the season, 22% of the team’s stops have taken more than 3.5 seconds. Anything more than that to change all four wheels is considered a serious failure. That figure is a long way off the best. The outcome of the season would not have been that different with fewer pit stops without serious mistakes, but there might have been a few more points on the scoreboard.
“It’s true that the number of stops over 3.5 seconds is too high by the Scuderia’s past standards, but the vast majority of times that there has been a less than optimal stop, it has been down to a specific problem linked to the wheel nut,” explained Diego Ioverno, Scuderia’s Vehicle Operation Engineer. “The thread is not strong enough and so the nut has stripped several times. It’s a reliability problem we are working hard on to fix for next year.”
Does an awareness of the problem have a knock-on effect?
“Yes it does. When the guys feel, even unconsciously, that they are using a component that is more at risk, with a margin of error for engaging the wheel-gun that is much smaller, that has a negative effect on the whole procedure. That can be seen from the fact that for us, an average time for a good pit stop is 2.73 seconds, which means there is room for improvement there too.”
What else can be done?
“First of all, it should be pointed out that our pit crew is relatively new as part of the significant changes we have introduced over the past two years, both for the crew itself and on the organisational side. It is clear therefore that it takes a little time for all those involved in the pit stop to gel. There is no other sport that calls on perfect synchronisation of over twenty people. That’s why the best teams are the ones that have used the same crew for several years. So, apart from reliability, we also need to work on this area, both through specific training sessions and psychological and physical training and that will be another priority over the winter in preparation for 2021.”