• Joe Valentic


There is so much that can be learned from this incredible video about teamwork (link at bottom of article). The concept of a pit crew working fast to change out tires and get their racer back in the race is nothing new. However, the perfection of this process over time is truly impressive. It has come from intentional study and clarity of thinking and translation of that into perfection of process and finally perfection of execution.

As I watched this video over and over, I observed more and more about this perfect teamwork. Here are some of the core things I picked up.

  • There are 22 team members of the pit crew to change four tires - yes 22.

  • Every single team member has a specific job.

  • Every step in the process of changing each tire, is done by a different person including one person per tire to remove the tire and one person per tire to put the new one on.

  • The crew is lined up in their positions well before the car arrives, planning and preparation is done.

  • As the car approaches they go from lined up to active ready - crouching and leaning in.

  • There are even crew members whose job is just to help stabilize the car as it raises up on the jacks.

  • The car wheels have been redesigned to improve the process by having one central lug that holds the tire instead of four.

  • The tools are specially designed to get the job done, from the overhead booms to get the impact wrenches on both sides of the car, without interfering with the drivers ingress or egress.

  • The jack lifts are hydraulic. The front jack has an articulating handle so the operator can lift the car and pivot to the side, to prepare for quicker extraction the jack when the car is done.

  • Then there are the back up features that while they do not add to actual speed of change, they ensure minimal time is lost if there is an equipment failure. There are four extra impact wrenches, one behind each tire crew. There are also manned backup jacks in the rear of the vehicle.

  • Finally there is the precise choreography of movement to change the tires and to get out of the car's path when done changing.

The core themes that we can learn from this are first clarity of focus. Everyone on this team knows time is the enemy. They are all aligned to achieve the fastest tire change possible to get their driver back in the race. This clarity is then translated into very specific processes, people, tools and even vehicle design to optimize every element in achieving their goal.

The next theme worth highlighting is the division and specialization of labor. Every person's role is critical and performed, not just independently, but in proper timing and sequence to support the overall objective. No one is wearing multiple hats in this pit crew. No one is multitasking. Everyone has a role, they know exactly how and when to do it, and through this specialization they develop precision and speed. The result is being able to change four times in about 2 seconds, that is, one thousand one, one thousand two and their done. The world record during an actual race is 1.92 seconds.

Finally, there is no room for ego or standing out in this process. Every member of the team has a critical part and every member of the team must perform not as an individual but in harmony and in sink with the other members. This is truly one of the most powerful examples we can see of how much more a team can achieve than individuals operating alone.

If your team is not a well oiled machine, please reach out to us and we will be glad to help you assess and build out your ultimate pit crew!