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McLaren makes pit crew changes
McLaren has "made some changes to the team and to the process" in order to attempt to prevent a repeat of its pit stop problems.
The team has suffered a number of slow pit stops this season, with Lewis Hamilton heavily affected in Bahrain. Jenson Button was also denied the chance to chase Nico Rosberg in China due to a delayed stop, and Martin Whitmarsh confirmed on a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in that changes had been made ahead of the start of the European season.
"We've looked at what we were doing, we have made some changes to the team and to the process and you'll see them on Sunday in Barcelona - or you may see them on the earlier days if you're interested enough to watch pit stop practice in front of the garage!" Whitmarsh said. "There's enormous pressure on these guys and one of the things I might have said after the last race is that for a top team like McLaren you're targeting sub-three second stops."
Whitmarsh added that he has been impressed with how the team has reacted to the problems, with no shortage of offers to be part of the pit crew.
"The guys who get involved - particularly gun men and jack men - they're not paid a penny for standing up and saying 'give me a go, I want to do that'. They undertake a huge challenge, physical challenge; I don't know if anyone here on the call has held a wheel gun and realises how heavy the reaction forces you have on it, it's not an easy task. And it's being done on some very hot components in a very dangerous circumstance with the eyes of tens of millions or even hundreds of millions bearing down on the back of your neck
"So I'm always in awe of the level of volunteers that we have. We made some changes as you might expect following the last race and I wondered whether we would get volunteers for some of the more critical positions and I'm just astounded by how many guys in the team want to put themselves in those very challenging positions. I think that reflects well on the spirit within the team and there's been a reasonable amount of practice, some changes in process and they'll be seen at the weekend."