Since the right front wheel was finally removed from Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes two days after it failed to come off during his pit stop at the Monaco Grand Prix, the internet has been awash with jokes about the longest pit stop in F1 history. 43 hours, to be precise!
Most experts’ initial reaction was that it had been caused by a ‘cross-threaded’ wheel nut, something DIY fans will be familiar with when a bolt tightens but doesn’t perfectly for a nut and then is very difficult to remove. Or when one puts on a bottle top to a soft drink at slightly the wrong angle. It will go on and off, but not easily.
Other theories ranged from faulty wheel guns to mechanic error. For such a rare event, however, regular Motorsport.Tech columnist and tech expert Craig Scarborough explains that there were several factors that may have come into play to cause this most unusual failure.
Its blown up from a low res shot, but the threads look intact pic.twitter.com/bVQRwKPgxu
— Craig Scarborough (@ScarbsTech) May 27, 2021