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In F1, the teams currently seem to be stacked where Mercedes/ferrari are early in the pitlane, and Williams is at the end.

How is the order of teams decided for the pitlane, and is a position considered more advantageous than the others?

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A team's position in the pit lane is determined by where they finished in the championship the previous year. The defending champions have their pit boxes at one end of the pit lane (which end varies from race to race), and then it goes along in championship order until the team that finished last the previous year have their pit boxes at the opposite end of the pit lane. Wikipedia claims (albeit without a source) that this is standard practice for most racing series.

A one-off exception to this was the 2012 British Grand Prix. The pit lane at Silverstone had been relocated in 2011, and fans complained that they were left unable to see the pit boxes of the top three teams, so for 2012 those top three teams (Red Bull, McLaren, and Ferrari) were given pit boxes near the middle of the pit lane so fans could see them. This apparently did not carry over to future British Grands Prix.

As to whether your pit box's position can give you an advantage, there are some negligible advantages to being first or last in the pit lane, but not much:

  • If you're at the start of the pit lane, you can dive straight into your box without potentially having to maneuver around the previous team's pit crew (as there is no previous team).
  • If you're at the end of the pit lane, you can similarly drive straight out of your pit box without having to maneuver around the next team's pit crew, as there is no next team. You also don't have to worry about other cars being unsafely released into your path and forcing you to brake.

The answers to this Reddit thread suggest that teams get to choose their own pit garages, with the defending champions getting first pick, the 2nd-placed team picking next, and so on. I can find no further evidence to support this, and I am much more included to trust my own experience from 15+ years of watching Formula One than I am to trust some random Reddit user.

  • Yeah I would trust your gut too. The 2 advantageous boxes being both ends would mean that if its a pick, 1st would be one end and 2nd pick would be the other end. And I don't see how the hell an order would be made that would make Merc and Williams be the 1-2 pick. – Fredy31 Aug 16 '20 at 13:29

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