F1’s Pit Crews Are So Big They Even Have A Person Just To Refill Pneumatic Valves

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat smokes out the starting grid at F1 Australia this weekend. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Formula One’s pit crews are some of the most trained, synchronized and fascinating teams in any sport. There are so many people, all working with millimeter precision to get a set of tires off a car and a new set on in give or take two seconds. And here’s a crew member I’ve never seen before: valve person.


F1 cars currently use pneumatic valves, a tech that is kind of sort of filtering into the world of ordinary road cars. The valves themselves are pneumatically actuated, not with metal springs.

Apparently this system needs recharging, as F1 tech guru Craig Scarborough spotted at the season opener in Australia over the weekend:

Scarbs explained why you see this when he went over years ago how these valve systems work:


You often see the teams suffer a loss of pressure in the races through leaks in the system, the driver comes in and mechanics re-pressurises the pneumatic circuit, this rarely works for more than few laps. 

This is just another little example of how complex modern F1 cars are. Man, I love these things.

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