McLaren set a blistering new record at the Mexico City Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren in the pits. Mexico City October 2022. Credit: Alamy
Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren in the pits. Mexico City October 2022. Credit: Alamy

McLaren have proudly boasted about achieving the two fastest pit-stops in the Mexico City Grand Prix – including the quickest of all this season.

For a Daniel Ricciardo stop at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, McLaren dipped under the two-second barrier to change the Australian’s tyres and send him on his way.

The exact time was 1.98 seconds, comfortably speedier than the 2.29 recorded for Lando Norris which filled second position on the pit-stop chart in Mexico.

Next came Ferrari for Charles Leclerc on 2.34, with the only other team having two of their pit-stops in the top 10 being Aston Martin in eighth and 10th.

Those impressive times come towards the end of a season when pit-stops had been expected to prove a tad more difficult due to the size of the wheels being increased from 13 inches to 18 inches in diameter.

This inevitably meant they became more cumbersome to manoeuvre around during the pinpoint routine of a pit-stop.

The DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award, which was inaugurated in 2015, has now been won five times out of 20 this year by McLaren, all bar one of those for Ricciardo’s car – and a feat about which this time they were understandably not shy to tweet.

The Woking team won the award at three of the first four grands prix of this season but more recently, as has been the case with race victories, Red Bull have dominated.

Long renowned as the pit-stop kings, Red Bull had taken the award at six of the previous eight races – and all but one of those was for Sergio Perez’s car rather than record-breaking 14-time winner this season Max Verstappen.

The previous best time in 2022, before McLaren achieved their exceptional 1.98, was Red Bull’s 2.09 for Perez at the Dutch Grand Prix.

The fastest ever stop was by Red Bull for Verstappen in the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix at 1.82 seconds.

Although it is the work of the team that earns the award, the driver also plays an important part because he needs to stop precisely on his marks in order to make the mechanics’ job as easy as possible.

Therefore, even more credit should be given to Ricciardo for a performance in which he was voted Driver of the Day as he worked his way up to finish seventh in Mexico from a starting position of 11th in what will be his third-last race for McLaren.

Read more – Mexican Grand Prix driver ratings: Max untouchable, Ricciardo resurgent, Albon under the radar

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