A tenth of a second gained or lost in the pit lane can have make-or-break consequences on a drivers’ race. It can be the difference between coming out ahead of a rival or losing the position you are fighting over.
Red Bull hold the record for the fastest pit stop at 1.82 seconds, set at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix. The Milton Keynes outfit have also claimed the fastest stop at four of the opening six rounds of the 2021 Formula One season, with an average time of 1.97 seconds.
Red Bull have one of the best pit crews in F1 at changing all four tyres quickly and, importantly, efficiently.
They will also occasionally have to adjust the front wing angle or replace it after contact, adding crucial seconds to a stop. But how much are the 20 members of a pit crew, each with a role, paid?
F1 pit crew chief: How much are they paid?
A Formula One pit crew chief is responsible for selecting which tyres go on the car and deciding what strategy is best. Usually, they are located on the pit wall during a Grand Prix, alongside the team principal, team manager, race engineers and a strategist.
Given their role, the crew chief is also the best-paid member of an F1 pit crew. Figures provided by Sporting Free show them as earning an annual salary of £700,000.
They also receive a per-race bonus of £7k and a further £3.5k for a win.
Wheel gun operator and tyre carries
The wheel gun operator has one of the more delicate roles in a pit stop to ensure the tyres and changed quickly and without issue.
They must line the pneumatic gun, pressurised with compressed air, perfectly with the nut to either loosen or tighten it.
A mistake can be the difference between a good stop or a bad one, and can even end a race. Valtteri Bottas found that out the hard way at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, when his front-right tyre became stuck on his Mercedes after the gun machined the metal off the nut.
The gun operator is generally paid £250k-a-year with a per-race bonus of £3.5k and a further £1.7k for a win.
Those tasked with carrying the new wheels and putting them on the car earn £190k-a-year, with £2.5k in per-race bonuses and £1.7k should they win.