Jamie Skinner studied motorsport engineering in college, worked his up way through the ranks of motorsports, and is now a regular in Formula 1. Ever heard of him?
"I’m officially the floating mechanic on Kimi’s car," says Skinner, a 27-year-old Lotus F1 Team mechanic.
"Which involves helping out on both the front and rear end of the car and any other necessary tasks around the garage. On top of that, I also operate the right front wheel gun during pit stops."
Everybody knows how important the guys in the pitlane are within a Formula One team. If any single one of them doesn't do his job to perfection, the whole weekend for everyone can be ruined.
If Skinner made a mistake for example, Kimi Raikkonen or Romain Grosjean would have to race on three wheels.
Therefore, long hours preparing the car and repetitive pitstops simulations preparing themselves are the norm for the guys in the garage. As far as the wheel gun goes, he's done so many tire change now, that he's got his time down to under 2 seconds – something the spectators don't get to see very often unfortunately.
"We do between 15-20 minutes of simulations every morning, so around 20-30 pit stops[, timing] each corner of the car using the traffic light system. […] Practices and a race scenario are very different; you can be much quicker in practice. My best time on the wheel gun during a race is 2.3 seconds.
"My best time during the simulations is 1.7 second."
Is it all worth it though?
"The hours can be pretty long. Things really kick off first thing on a Thursday, and from there we’re usually in the garage around 20 hours a day[. It's] the worst thing I suppose[,] but it's worth it believe me!
"When you’ve spent hours building the car up, watching it head out of the garage and round the circuit is very satisfying."
Source: Lotus F1 Team