Elon Musk hires an F1 expert to revolutionize Tesla's pit stops

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Elon Musk hires an F1 expert to revolutionize Tesla's pit stops

Elon Musk's new battery swap stations can already refresh a Tesla Model S and put it back on the road in under three minutes, but now he has help in cutting that time to something even shorter. Today the CEO announced Tesla has hired from Formula 1 chief mechanic Kenny Handkammer to "revolutionize servicing mainstream cars." Handkammer won championships with both Michael Shumacher and Sebastian Vettel during his 25 years in racing, and was the chief mechanic of the Red Bull F1 team when it set a world record in 2013 with a pit stop that took just 1.9 seconds -- check after the break for a slow-mo look at a relatively leisurely 2.05 second stop.

He left Red Bull Racing last October as the team said it had found someone "better suited in the course of restructuring the team." Currently struggling after lead driver Vettel moved over to Ferrari in the offseason, and with problems from engine provider Renault, Red Bull sits at sixth place in the constructors championship. What exactly can a race mechanic bring to standard road cars? We're not entirely sure, but if Elon Musk's next demo includes tire swaps at lightning speed then we'll know who to thank.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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