Usually when you think of an F1 pit crew you think of speed, efficiency, and effectiveness. These are things that must be constant in F1 given that even an extra 1 or 2 seconds in the pits could cost you an entire race. That’s a bit nutty to think about.
There is another place where those 3 ideals must be adhered to: a hospital. There’s no other place on earth were more lives hang in the balance and speed, efficiency, and effectiveness are not only needed, but crucial. This is where the Williams F1 team has been helping the medical staff at a British hospital. But what could an F1 pit crew possibly teach hospital staff?
Well when you need to get an F1 car in and out in around 3 seconds, they know a thing or two about quick, emergency like situations.
The staff over at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff has even visited Williams’ UK factory in order to observe the team practice pit stops and see what makes them the fastest Formula 1 pit crew of 2016 – for which they already picked up the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award.
Apparently, the UHW team has already identified and implemented a number of changes to their resuscitation processes, based on what they’ve learned from Williams. For example, the resuscitation trolley has been audited and streamlined to ensure that staff can locate any and all equipment as fast as humanly possible.
UHW has also mapped out a standardized floor space, that clearly shows the area where the neonatal resuscitation team operates. This concept follows Williams’ own floor map, which they use to map out specific pit box requirements at each individual track.
Right now, UHW are in the process of implementing F1 communications and analysis techniques, which include a pre-resuscitation ‘radio-check’, improved use of hand signals (as opposed to verbal communication) and video analysis where the staff can analyze their own performance during new and mandatory debrief meetings.
“When we were approached [by UHW] we were delighted to assist,” commented Williams’ deputy team principal Claire Williams. “Their work is vitally important and the pressure they work under is difficult to comprehend; it’s a matter of life and death every day of the week.”
“If some of the advice we have passed on helps to save a young life then this would have been an extremely worthy endeavor. We are increasingly finding that Formula One know-how and technology can have benefit to other industries and this is a great example.”
So the next time someone tells you that pit stops aren’t that important in F1 racing, you can say that’s wrong. They help save lives.