As one of the fastest competitive sports in the world, Formula One drivers are thrill seekers like no other. Often reaching speeds of 220 miles per hour, drivers are put under an unbelievable amount of physical stress every time they get behind the wheel. According to Formula One's website, "All drivers who enter Formula One need to undergo a period of conditioning to cope with the physical demands of the sport: no other race series on earth requires so much of its drivers in terms of stamina and endurance. The vast loadings that Formula One cars are capable of creating, anything up to a sustained 3.5 g of cornering force, for example, means drivers have to be enormously strong to be able to last for full race distances." Can you imagine having to deal with forces like that in addition to make split-second decisions?
As much as the drivers have to perform under extreme amounts of stress, so do the vehicles themselves. Modern F1 cars are designed to be the perfect combination of speed, aerodynamics and weight, while being able to handle the incredible amount of wear and tear that a typical race puts them through. The burden is so heavy on these vehicles that they can only go a certain amount of laps before a pit stop is needed.
Much has evolved in the 50-year time frame between the two pit stops in this video. Formula One races are often decided by fractions of a second, so what happens in the pit (and the speed at which it happens) can make or break a team's chances. Because of this supreme emphasis on time, teams have their jobs down to a science. Engineers work year-round trying to make technical breakthroughs that will make tire changes easier. The hands-on pit team performs drill after drill to make the moves in its choreographed routine instinctual. With the advances in team training and technology, these short breaks in the race have lowered from a minute or more to a mere two seconds or less.