In motorsport, a pit stop is where a racing vehicle stops in the pits during a race for refueling, new tires, repairs, mechanical adjustments, a driver change, as a penalty, or any combination of the above.
Pit stop work is carried out by anywhere from five to twenty mechanics called a "pit crew,” while the driver often waits in the vehicle (except where a driver change is involved or in Motorbike racing).
Teams will aim for each of their vehicles to pit following a planned schedule, with the number of stops determined by many factors such as fuel capacity, tire lifespan, and the trade-off between time lost in the pits versus time gained on the track due to the benefits of pit stops.
Choosing the optimum pit strategy of how many stops to make and when to make them is crucial in having a successful race.
An unscheduled or extended stop, such as for a repair, can be very costly for a driver's chance of success, because while they are stopped for service, competitors remaining on the track are gaining time on them. For this reason, the pit crews often undergo intensive training to perform operations as quickly as possible.
As pit stops are potentially hazardous situations, there are strict rules in place for both the pit crew and drivers, which include wearing fire-resistant and adhering to speed limits on pit road.