What is the longest pit stop in F1? A ranked top-five list

What is the longest pit stop in F1? A ranked top-five list

Sospeter Itolondo
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:23 PM

Formula one is a team sport, and every second counts. Any second wasted could cost the team a win or point. A pit stop is a part of the race where a car gets refuelling or reservicing. So, which is the longest pit stop in F1 history? Read on to find out.

longest pit stop in F1
Max Verstappen takes to the track during the Oracle Red Bull Racing Home Run event at Red Bull Racing Factory on December 10, 2022, in Milton Keynes, England. Photo: Christopher Lee
Source: Getty Images

A pit stop may take longer than expected due to unknown reasons. Some teams are just slower, while others may be due to technical problems with the equipment or outside forces. What is the longest pit stop in F1 in 2022? Read on to find out more information about these pit stops.

Top 5 longest pit stops in F1

A pit stop ensures the vehicle is serviced fast before reembarking on its journey. The crew are meant to ensure the process is as fast as possible and no time is lost. Here are the top 5 longest pit stops in F1 history:

5. Eddie Irvine, Germany Nuerburgring 1999

The Italian team was one of the slowest ever during the Michael Schumacher era. They made mistake after mistake in the pit stop costing Eddie Irvine the Championship as he was a top contender. The conditions were wet and would prompt the driver to change his tyres to the ones more suitable.

Top 5 longest pit stops in F1
Eddie Irvine, Ferrari F399, Grand Prix of Australia, Albert Park, Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, 07 March 1999. Photo: Paul-Henri Cahier
Source: Getty Images

However, when Eddie stopped over, his team was only ready with three tires. The right rear tyre was missing, frustrating the driver using more than 30 seconds. Murray Walker termed the incident ludicrous as Ferrari was a big organization and needed to be more prepared.

4. Esteban Tuero Buenos Aires 1998

The 19-year-old had taken the motorsport world by storm and hoped to leave a mark. This was a home race, giving the Argentinian home-ground advantage, making him even more confident. However, this was not the case, as he had to drop out of the race.

2nd longest pit stop in F1
Esteban Tuero drives the #23 Minardi F1 Team Minardi M198 Ford V10 during practice for the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix on 6th June 1998. Photo: Darren Heath
Source: Getty Images

An Italian team was again at the youngster’s pit stop and was unprepared to change his tyres. The pit stop took 42 seconds as the star sat idle outside the garage, waiting on them. Their arrangement was disorganized, having the tires everywhere. He worked with the Minardi team.

3. Lewis Hamilton Germany 2019

Perhaps the most efficient team in F1, the Mercedes team, does not seem to be immune to some minor errors here and there. The conditions were wet, but somehow, Lewis Hamilton made sure to reach the pits to make a change for his broken front wing. The team was caught between fixing the wing and whether to change the tyres to wet tyres.

world's longest pit stop in F1
Lewis Hamilton of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-22 Mercedes V8 makes a pit stop during the Formula One Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix on 8 April 2007. Photo: Darren Heath
Source: Getty Images

The confusion cost one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time 50 seconds in the pit stop. His wing was fixed, but he was only given intermediate tyres.

2. Rubens Barrichello Malaysia 2001

This is considered the 2nd longest pit stop in F1. The team had to service Barrichello and Schumacher, with the former one of the contenders for winning the title. Rain poured heavily with the drivers being advised to double stack for safety.

longest pit stop in F1 2022
Rubens Barrichello of Ferrari checks his performance during qualifying for the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo. Photo: Clive Mason
Source: Getty Images

As the drivers approached the pits, it turned out that the team was not ready with the tyres; hence they had to wait a long. The driver spent just a little over one minute 12 seconds which cost Ruben his win as other drivers went past him.

In the commentary box, Murray Walker said,

“Anything can happen in Formula 1, and it usually does. But I wouldn’t have expected this.”

1. Valtteri Bottas Monaco 2021

What was the longest pit stop in F1? The 2021 pit stop by Valtteri Bottas at the 2021 Grand Prix was the world’s longest pit stop in F1 history. This is yet another unwanted record by the Mercedes team. Bottas was called in for a quick tyre change, but the right front wheel’s nut could not come off.

longest pit stop in modern F1
Valtteri Bottas talks to the media in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on October 06, 2022, in Suzuka, Japan. Photo: Dan Istitene
Source: Getty Images

This was a safety hazard, and the star could not continue the race from what seemed to have been a clear victory. This precedent led to the car being retired, and the nut could be removed only 43 hours and 15 minutes later. It is also the longest pit stop in modern F1.

What is the slowest pit stop in F1 ever?

Valtteri Bottas’ pit stop in the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix is the longest in F1 history. The change took more than 43 hours and 15 minutes. The occurrence was due to a stuck nut in the right front wheel, which was so difficult to remove it had to be removed by special equipment at the factory. The race had to be abandoned, denying the driver a clear chance at winning.

Is there a limit on pit stops in F1?

F1 drivers are only allowed between 1-3 pit stops in a race. However, the number can be adjusted depending on the weather conditions, conditions of the track, emergencies such as car damage and opponent strategies. It is required that a driver should stop at least once for a tyre change.

what's the longest pit stop in F1
Valtteri Bottas driving the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 stops in the Pitlane during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco on May 20, 2021, in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Photo: Mark Thompson
Source: Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas’ pit stop in the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix takes the top spot as the longest pit stop in F1 history. A nut got stuck while changing the wheels and special equipment had to be used to change the tire. However, this process took more than 43 hours as the driver had to drop out of the race, and the vehicle retired. It is unfortunate, especially when a great driver misses out on a win due to technical difficulties at a pit stop.

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Sospeter Itolondo
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