Formula 1 Pit Crews Providing Inspiration for Efficiency in London Hospital

Formula 1 Pit Crews Providing Inspiration for Efficiency in London Hospital

Jarryd Westerdale
February 26, 2024 at 2:35 PM
In this article:
  • Formula 1 pit crews are known for the speed and precision of their pitstops
  • A hospital in London has taken inspiration from the efficiency of the mechanics
  • A new system involves large teams and double parking patients in operating rooms

Few would see any similarities between a Formula 1 garage and an operating theatre.

However, in both spaces, every second counts as drivers try to trim lap times and doctors aim to offer the best care they can for their patients.

The surgeons of a hospital in London have mimicked the division of labour strategy employed by Formula 1 pit crews to drastically reduce their surgery backlog.

Formula 1, St Thomas' Hospital, High Intensity Theatre, Red Bull Racing, McLaren, Max Verstappen.
Formula 1 pit crews inspired a reshaping of a London hospital's operating theatre which has seen a lowering of wait times for operations. Photos: Marton Monus and Christopher Furlong.
Source: Getty Images

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital has adopted a system whereby they pack their operating room with multiple staff and patients on a proverbial conveyor belt of elective procedures.

Labelled High-Intensity Theatre(HIT), the method was designed by doctors Kariem El-Boghdadly and Imran Ahmad. Comparing it to a Formula 1 pit stop, The Times quoted El-Boghdadly saying:

“They’ve got one person doing the rear right wheel, one person doing the front left wheel. It’s the same thing. The operating theatre is effectively like that.”

By having multiple specialists preparing and operating simultaneously, the volume of output has been impressive. Last August, the hospital used the method to operate on three months’ worth of cancer patients in five days.

McLaren set fastest pitstop record

Pitstops have become increasingly quick over the years, to the point where they are almost instantaneous. A new record was set by McLaren at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix.

Lando Norris came into the pits on Lap 27 and the pit crew had lowered and lifted the lollipop in a lightning-quick 1.80 seconds.

This beat the record held by Red Bull Racing who recorded a 1.82-second stop at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, as per USA Today.

3 Max Verstappen challengers in 2024

Sports Brief recently compiled a list of three drivers who could dethrone Verstappen in 2024.

Formula 1's pre-season testing has wrapped and the focus is on the start of the global roadshow.

The Dutchman's lap times have been staggering, suggesting a possible clean sweep of all 24 races.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.