Monaco, May 26: Red Bull will change its pitstop procedures during Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix amid concerns that rival Ferrari was doing copycat stops during last week's race in Spain.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner claims Ferrari was mimicking Red Bull in Barcelona because it appeared that two-time former F1 champion Fernando Alonso was pitting for Ferrari immediately after Red Bull had called in Mark Webber.
“Pitstops are all part of the game, and Ferrari's only way to beat Mark was to cover him in the pitstops,” Horner said Wednesday ahead of Thursday's first practice session. “So we've changed our procedure this weekend to ensure we are less transparent.”
Horner said Red Bull's pit crew gave away signs during the last race that a pitstop was imminent, like “putting their hands in their pockets at the wrong time or somebody was picking a tire up”—and this gave Ferrari an inkling to do likewise.
“They obviously saw something we were doing that was giving away when we were going to stop and would call in Fernando,” Horner said. “It wasn't coincidence because every time we called Mark in, then Fernando would come down the pit lane, which is quite within the regulations.”
Defending F1 champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany aims for his fifth win of the season in Monaco. The Red Bull driver already has a commanding 41-point lead over McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.
Ferrari has had a tough start, with Alonso securing the team's only podium finish when he finished third at the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul. Alonso is fifth overall, but is already 67 points behind Vettel. AP