Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2010

Has the mandatory pit stop rule been a success?

Debates and PollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2010
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2010

Four years ago the FIA introduced a rule requiring drivers to use two different sets of tyre compounds during a race.

The rule was devised to keep some interest in tyres as Bridgestone became F1’s sole tyre supplier.

After 71 races with it, has the rule been a success? Will it still be needed in the new Pirelli era?


Requiring drivers to use both types of tyre during a race weekend adds to the challenge. They have to find a set-up which works for both tyres.

That adds a further tactical dimension to the races, particularly when one tyre is poorly suited to the track.


The rule effectively forces drivers to make at least one pit stop in dry races. This restricts their strategic options, as no-one is able to gamble on making it through a race on a single set of tyres.

It can lead to contrived, artificial strategies. At Monza last year Sebastian Vettel postponed his tyre stop until the last lap.

The rule is a needless complication which makes the sport less about straightforward racing and more about satisfying the arbitrary demands of the rulemakers.

I say

With Pirelli supplying tyres whose performance will degrade more quickly than Bridgestone’s did, it should become even more apparent that this rule is unnecessary.

Hopefully it will be dropped, along with the “top ten qualifiers must start on the tyres they qualified on” rule as well.

You say

Should the ‘mandatory pit stop’ rule be kept or dropped?

Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should the 'mandatory pit stop' rule be kept or dropped?

  • Keep it (17%)
  • Drop it (83%)

Total Voters: 246

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This poll closes on March 5th.

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152 comments on “Has the mandatory pit stop rule been a success?”

  1. i couldnt have said it better myself.

    1. me neither.

    2. I’ve been saying this all along.

    3. Bit of a stupid poll though.

      Do you agree with my opinion, you know, me the writer of the site’s?

      Could have put your opinion after voting, but I guess it’d get dressed up the same anyhow.

      1. I disagree with the opinions of people writing something all the time. I don’t see what is stopping you if you have a different opinion.

      2. Could have put your opinion after voting

        For what purpose?

      3. Its not really at all like that, is it. More; ‘what is your opinion, here’s mine.’ Its a way to promote discussion. the poll is a quick way to discover what the site readers think about it: its not as though we are all stupid enough to simply be convinced by everything that we read. I like to think that most of us are intelligent enough to form our own opinions.

        1. yea, not really a stupid pole at all.

          What if the Pirellis do hold up? I do like the fact that the drivers have to use both tires, but mandatory pits I don’t like. Maybe it could have read ‘if you do pit, then you have to use at least 2 different compounds’

          Also, the top 10 rule could be another pole…that rule should definitely be scrapped.

  2. It should be dropped.
    Doh forgot my password.

    1. Why? I love seeing the people who didn’t qualify in the top ten starting on the primes and doing lots of overtaking at the end when they put the options on. I like the rules regarding tyres and pit-stops exactly how they are.

      1. Because this year is could be an advantage to qualify 10th instead of say 8th or 9th, that is just wrong, I have other reasons but that one alone is good enough IMO

        1. You mean 11th instead of 10th? Well, it might be an advantage to qualify 2nd instard of 1st as well, because of the rear wing.

          1. Well, it this year is like most years, after 2 laps, the leader will be 3-4 seconds ahead of the number two car, so the flap won’t matter anyways. It really just helps when some slow car gets in front of a bunch of other cars and forms a train on the track or when there is a close battle between two cars.

          2. 10th too. Just put on harder tyres in Q3

      2. yeah i like the rule. what if a leading car was good on only one compound of tyre? he could just use that for the whole race. (boring!) the rule means he has to use a compound not suited for his car, thus mixing it up a bit!

      3. I agree, but I voted for “drop it” because there are few races in which no stops can be made, and seeing a race without a stop on the last lap isn’t something so bad.

  3. I remember a nervewrecking race in 2005 where Raikonnen where struggling with damaged tires. More of that please, but let the teams decide themselves wether or not to pit.

    1. That, of course, was when the rules required teams to qualify and complete the whole race on one set of tyres. Which also limited strategy choice.

  4. This one pit stop rule definitely reduced the chances of running alternate tyre strategies. And with the quickly degrading Pirrellis this season, there wont be any need for this rule anyways. So might as well drop it.

  5. I voted to drop it

  6. I’ve been against it all along. But hey, who asks the fans, right? ;)

    1. Pete Walker
      2nd March 2011, 11:02

      Hey, they’ve asked us many times. They just never listen to the answers… ;)

    2. Ah ha, true fans want proper racing.

      1. Proper racing where the 2nd placed has an advantage over the leader (or do you dislike the new adjustable rear wing)?

  7. Drop it. I want to see someone struggling all the way to the finish on the hard tyres, while someone else stops two times to refresh his softs.

    Also, while you’re at it: drop the “top ten qualifiers must start on the tyres they qualified on”

    I’m not sure what to think of the mandatory diirfent compounds rule, however. Allowing full freedom might end with everybody optimising their car for the softs. So let’s start with dropping the afore mentioned rules.

    1. Wouldn’t that mean going for 3-4 pitstops currently? I am pretty sure someone can have a go on mediums or hards and have only one or maybe even no pitstop at all.

    2. Mandatory different compounds rule requires a mandatory pit stop. You can’t change tyres on the racetrack!

      1. Yeah, I know, but I meant to question if it’s a good idea to give the teams the freedom to choose ALL compounds for every race.

        I can imagine the drop of the rule being implemented by saying: for this circuit you can choose between soft and hard. And what I meant to question was total freedom.

        And to make the dropping work the difference in laptimes should be so big as to make up for pitstops. But just close enough. However, it should probably come to 1 or 2 stops versus 0 or 1 stop to make it exciting enough. Otherwise the laptimes would need to differ too much.

  8. Drop it. It’s just another of those rules that were made only to make things interesting but didn’t quite make it, since most of the time all drivers were on same strategy.

  9. It can lead to contrived, artificial strategies. At Monza last year Sebastian Vettel postponed his tyre stop until the last lap.

    At the same time, the mandatory stop rule prevented drivers from doing a whole race on one set of tyres and gaining an advantage because everyone else needed to pit.

    1. But if Pirelli is making the tyres less durable, forcing them to pit anyway, what’s the point of keeping the rule? Reward teams and drivers that can take care of their tyres.

      1. Because the rule makes you change to the other kind of tyres, not only change the tyres.

        I think it’s good to make them use both kind of tyres.

    2. But that’s exactly the kind of thing we want to see. Different drivers trying out different strategies to see which one is ultimately fastest. If a driver can make a set of tyres last for a whole race, that should be something he should be rewarded for, not punished.

      1. But that just removes an element of uncertainty. Back when the rule was firt introduced, pit stops were the only time when a driver reasonably stood a chance of picking up positions. As was pointed out hundreds of times by Ferrari fans after Germany last year, Formula 1 is a team sport. Under this logic, the success of a driver doesn’t just hinge on a driver alone, but on the entire team, working as a team. Removing pit stops removes the team element.

        1. I’m not talking about removing strategy completely. I’m talking about increasing the variation in strategies, so we don’t have the situation we had last year, where: a) everyone is on the same strategy; and b) everyone simply pits in reaction to whoever has blinked first.

          The ideal would be a race where some drivers did one stop, others two, and perhaps one or two brave individuals tried to do the whole race without stopping at all. Then we’d see more action on the track as people on different strategies ran close to one another at different parts of the race, and a more interesting and unpredictable outcome as a particular strategy emerged as the fastest.

          Removing the mandatory stop rule wouldn’t compel everybody to run every race without stopping, if tyre degradation is high. It would increase uncertainty, not reduce it.

          1. And some crazy gamble by a driver going for 4 sets of softs in a 3 stop race with strings of Qualli speed laps to make it work.

            I think that is exactly what is needed Red Andy!

          2. Bigbadderboom
            2nd March 2011, 12:46

            The problem is that team stratagists are so much better at predictions, and also understanding other teams options. Although there maybe many ways to skin a cat, the fact is the technologies used are close enough to be able to say there is only 1 best way to skin the cat! Personally I think there is a danger of the races becoming more stagnant without an external stimulation to the stratagies. However having said that if tyre degredation is that high on the options then I suppose the rule is irrelavent. I agree that all teams should have the choice of starting tyre, top 10 rule does nothing really.

    3. I don’t understand, why would that be bad?

      Surely all drivers had the option of trying this, fair chance to everyone.
      If Bridgestone had made the tyres differently, it might have actually made sense to stop, but if the tyres last and are fast enough, why not do it?
      Had Seb needed a fast spurt in the end, he might have moved onto softs again to do some passing, but that was not needed.

      1. Although none of the teams last year, or the year before that tried any different strategies with multiple pits stops, I think because they were all forced to stop to change, so they ended up just watching each other for who would make the first move.
        If all the teams were allowed to chose one compound to last the whole race, we might see different strategies being tried even between the two cars in the single team – still keeping the ‘team’ element involved.
        As it is now, we have artificial stops, artificial overtaking and artificial power boosts.
        What’s left for the teams and drivers to actually do during a race?

    4. the mandatory stop rule prevented drivers from doing a whole race on one set of tyres and gaining an advantage because everyone else needed to pit.

      Nonsense, the rule is the same for everyone. If you can run the whole race on a set and the rest can’t so much the better for you. You must be doing something better than the rest if they need to change and you don’t, and you get rewarded for that. What you said would only make sense if one team was excepted from the rule. Which of course never happened.

  10. i voted to keep it.. but on second thoughts, i could have gone either way. as much as it is an almost useless rule, it stops people just no-stopping it through to the end.

    1. But why is that bad?

      If it means that someone holds up a faster car for an entire race, apart from it meaning there is a whole race with at least one fierce fight for a position rather than a procession, it might actually put a rocket up the backsides of those in charge to make some proper rule changes to remove the problems in overtaking.

  11. I understand why it was implemented but it adds nothing to the racing.

    I say drop it, especially now we appear to have tyres with higher degradation.

    1. Good point. I actually like the rule, but I doubt we’re going to need it this year! :P

      1. I voted to drop it, but wouldn’t have last year. If the tires degrade fast enough that drivers are essentially forced to pit, then I can see getting rid of it. I do think there’s an argument to be made though that IF drivers pit, they have to run both tire compounds. That means they have to compromise car set up to accomodate both tire compounds, but gives them the option to optimize setup for one compound if they think they can somehow nurse the tires a whole race distance. Honestly the more I think about it, the more I’m really torn. There are definitely good reasons for it and good reasons to do away with it. Either way I think we’ll have good racing this year, as long as KERS and DRS don’t end up causing artificial racing. Let’s get this season started already!!

  12. I voted to drop it but I think they should also bring back re-fuelling. Watching a race with the strategic addition of running heavy or running light, for me, adds to the excitement.

    I also think that being the “pinnacle of motorsport” as they call it, they should change the regulations to say that anything in front of the front wheels and behind the rear wheels is regulation free – give the designers free reign to truly innovate and invent performance enhancing solutions.

    No overtaking is led by the fact that all the cars are so closely matched they might as well all go out there in the same car and we’d probably see the same racing as we do now.

  13. I think this is an astonishingly stupid rule. I would love to see it dropped, and the ‘top ten’ rule was even more ridiculous, but luckily seems to largely have been irrelevant. When this came in, having FINALLY lost the dreadful ‘fuel-corrected’ qualifying farce, I was terrified we might still have non-representative qualy times. Thankfully, that never happened due to the top ten always being on the same compound.

    Overall, I would say just leave out the meddling and let’s get on with some racing. Thanks, FIA.

    1. The Last Pope
      2nd March 2011, 16:41

      Last year Button qualified 5th at the Japanese gp on the harder tyre when the rest of the top 10 was on the soft. It really didn’t effect the race at all.

      1. But that was mainly because the Bridgestone hards are not that much slower and the sofst lasted far to long.

    2. My thoughts exactly. I always considered the mandatory pitstop as a Mario-Kart gimmick. The motivation for overtaking on track would be much greater if pilots were not waiting for the pitstop.

      I am a big fan of Moto GP also, and never missed a forced pitstop rule. Granted, bikes are different, overtaking is easier and the races are shorter, but I can’t see the point of a forced pitstop. Of course I don’t want the rules to force drivers to end the race in one set of tyres. I’d let then change tyres when they want, or never it they don’t.

      Anyway it seems it will be a moot discussion this year, everybody will need to change. But last year many races could have been completed with one set of primes, and it was an absurdity that it wasn’t allowed

      1. Or not so moot. The rule is: you have to stop AND use at least two different types of tyres. It may well be to your advantage to change your shot tyres for a new set of the same type. Why should you be forced to change for a inferior set beats me. They could also force you to to drive with your hand tied to your back or something like that.

  14. But then arent we going to see a standard procedure anyway? With everyone pitting for the longer lasting tyre half way through (or near enough) and sacrifice outright advantage on the softs for the only slightly slower harder compound but the tyres degrade less?

    I can agree that Vettel’s pit on the last lap was not the best situation, but I think the manadatory two sets of tyres during a race is a good thing.

    With the Pirelli’s degrading as much as they do, and if it continues, I can’t see many doing what Vettel did last year…

    With overtaking being such an issue in F1, couldn’t a driver from the back of the field just drive the whole race, and gain places while other people pit because, put bluntly, it is so damn hard to overtake nowadays.

    Wouldn’t removing this rule make Bahrain (and other similar races) even more of a precession?

    I wouldn’t like to see races decided on whether they choose to pit or not. But maybe i’m wrong… :L

    1. I suppose it will be more like pitting in the first 8-12 laps for the top ten, then go to hard to wait for the guys outstide the top 10 to have their stops as well, then go for another set (soft or hard dependant on strategy, track position and car) to the end.

      Outside the top ten most going on the harder tyre, stop later, but then have a bit of a problem judging, weather the softs will last the rest of the race, or need another stop.
      Or do the same as the top 10 for the tyres not lasting enough to make it a 1 stopper.

    2. I would rather see a race decided on whether someone pits or not than if they lucked into choosing a slightly better point in the race to pit.

  15. I voted to drop the rule, but think with the new tyres it is probably a redundant rule anyway. Except I see in the regs, failure to run both types in a ‘dry race’ gets a disqualification. And if a dry race is suspended and cannot be re-started then if both haven’t been used, a 30 sec penalty.

    If the tyres do not last any longer than they did in testing, which has been at cool temps. Then most drivers are going to have to stop three times at least, assuming they have sufficient new tyres for the race.

    The allocation for 2011 is 11 sets total for the w/end with only 7 sets available for qualifying and the race.

  16. I say drop it, It just isn’t needed. We all know the boots are Pirelli’s. Because that’s all the rule was about initially.

  17. I dont think it makes any difference this season as the Pirellis degrade so quickly pit stops will simply have to be made, I do think re-fuelling should be re introduced as it adds a bit of spice to the racing if people are on different fuel levels. What about a mandatory stop for fuel ( no tyre change ) and a 2nd mandatory stop for tyres ( no fuel) in either order at the discretion of the team so you can choose your strategy a bit more and have to manage both tyres and fuel.

    1. Actually I see this rule hurting strategy a bit more this year, as it limits the choices.
      Those behind the top 10 would want to start on the harder tyres to inevitably jump the top 10 as they stop early. Ideally they would change to another set of the harder tyres for a 1 stopper. But as they need to put on the sofst they need another stop anyway, therefore pushing them to do just the same as the top teams, safe the rare individual saving the softs for a short stint in the end (with a 2-stop race)

      1. The way I see it, those outside the Top 10 get a choice the other’s don’t: what to switch to at the first stop. They can stay on hards and save the soft for lower fuel at the end (less degradation) or go straight onto the softs in the hope of making up some time and it all working out in the end. Depending on the difference in degredation, they could end up interfering with the front runners and then they would have to pass them on their fresh tyres, adding skill requirements. And in the case of drivers placed 8th through 12th, they could engineer their strategies to hold up their rivals and sneak some points.

        And then we could see someone like Button do something very different, interfere and win the race. I can’t wait – I just hope they take a few more risks this time!

  18. I for letting team strategy deciding tire stategy. On that note, I never understood why the tire manufacturer only brings two compounds to each race. Why not bring all four available compounds? This would definitely mix up strategies and you may see some surprises because of it.

    1. Costs, is the reason. If the teams were allowed to choose at the race, then twice as many tyres would have to be transported.

      1. But doesn’t Pirelli cover those costs and not the team? And if you don’t use a compound during a race then you still have the tires left for the next race. There is, of course, the added cost of shipping extra tires, but that wouldn’t be that much extra. I am sure there is a way that it could be done that would be minimize the added costs.

        1. As far as I have read, the FIA is trying to reduce all costs for F1, and they seem to think that the restriction of two types per race and 11 sets per car per race w/end reduces perceived costs significantly.

          1. And too, end of 2009 Bridgestone cited costs as one of the reasons to want out, and they were asked to stay until endo 2010 at least, but in exchange there would be less tyres allowed.

            Pirelli footing the costs of more tyres would probably have made them have to increase the price of their bid, so in the end teams would end up paying one way or the other.

        2. As far as I know, the teams now Pay for it.

          But it does not really matter, who ends up footing the bill, does it?

  19. I think it should dropped as a rule, quite like AG and Frow 14 ideas bith mix it all up a bit, also would like to see quali restrictions lifted, lets see all drivers just barnstorming arounds for quickest lap and highest grid position, once qualified then you should have freedom to choose tyre / fuel strategy accordingly. That way you could get a mid grid car going for the glory and getting towards front of grid and therefore having to be passed on track by proper overtaking

  20. Keep it, so everyone has to use both compounds.

    1. Why does that matter? Do you actually enjoy a race more because of knowing that they used two different types of tyre?

      1. It gives the drivers and teams a bigger challenge.

        1. But if it is up to the teams what compound they put on the car, it means the teams have to try and guess which compound their nearest rival will use. Currently if a driver has been on the same type of tyre all race everyone knows they are going to have to pit and put on a different set, while if the rule was changed you don’t know if a) they are going to pit at all, and b) what tyres they will put on if they do.

          I don’t think it is a ‘bigger’ challenge, just a ‘different’ challenge.

          1. You do have a point, but I still think it is a bigger challenge for the engineers and drivers, while it’s a smaller challenge for the strategists.

  21. I say drop it

  22. If mandatory pit stop rule is dropped, then teams will only use one tyre compound during races, the one that degrades less, so I think that the rule should be kept.

    1. Why? So Force India (or someone else) can take pole simly by gambling on sofst and make another stop during the race?

      Actually with the second time difference between compounds it will be a bit harder for the top teams, they might have to destroy most sofst during Q1 or Q2 already to be sure of making it to Q3.

    2. But usually the one that degrades less is slower because it provides less traction. In the early 90s drivers could pick from (I think) compounds A-D, and usually there would be a mixture of B and C tyres as people traded off speed for durability.

  23. For what it’s worth I feel they should free up the options on tyre choice including removing the ‘top 10 start on quali tyres’ rule but still leave the teams with the same amount of all compounds over the racing year.
    If any team feels like burning out all their soft and super-softs early in the season to gain an early advantage it could leave things interesting later on!..

  24. simplify wherever possible:
    drop the mandatory tire change
    drop the top 10 qualifiers rule

    and, drop the 2 out of 4 compounds rule. soft and hard are all that’s needed, especially without a tire war. ideally, softs would be good for about 33% race distance and hards good for about 60%. that leaves plenty of room to be creative, or have creativity thrust upon you.

    1. I think that would be an excellent compromise. The reason there are 4 compounds is that different tracks give different levels of grip and degredation. But only have 2 compounds and at some circuits they will have the “wrong” tyres, which they would have to work around, again giving more uncertainty and excitement.

    2. I agree.

      I’ve always been a fan of the idea of letting teams see what the tires can do and designing their cars to suit a certain tire. Maybe they can find a way to steal out another 5% on the hards in the design. Perhaps some teams build around the softs, others are hards, and the last few are try to build around both.

      I originally loved refueling as fuel strategy was a big deal to me. But after this season, I think getting rid of refueling was better for both safety and racing. Teams will have even greater interest to develop fuel efficient engines to make the cars lighter.

  25. I say drop this rule and all other rules that makes for artificial excitement (like the moveable wing and wrong use of KERS)

    They didn’t need this 30 years ago, so why need it now.

    The only reason why they come up with these rules is that it is difficult to overtake on track, which the new Pirelli tyres makes only worse, because of the marbles outside the ideal line.

    I think last year was a lot better than the decade or so before, and to be honest I thhink this year will be worse than last year.

    IMHO I think that Pirelli should bring two compounds of tyres to the track. One that is quicker but only lasts half a race and one that is slower but lasts almost a full race. Let the drivers decide which compound(s) they will use. Some drivers can go the distance and some not. And some think they can go the distance but because they push to much can not. Looks fat better to me.

    And bring back the graveltraps. IMHO it is too easy now, because mistakes aren’t punished enough.

    For better overtaking we need less downforce generated by the wings. So bring back the groundeffect (in 2013?), so cars can drive in each other’s slipstream and can drive different lines through a corner. Sounds far better than moveable wings which can only be used at the end of a straight (which is too slippery anyway, because of the marbles). Sounds also a lot safer.

    And get rid of the use of KERS as a power boost. It isn’t green (they don’t need the extra power). If Formula 1 want to go greener use it like a true hybrid, all the time instead of a couple of times per lap. Maybe they should emulate the hybrid road cars and use KERS for low speeds and use the normal engine for high speeds.

  26. Drop it, it’s unnecessary now. I’m in two minds about the Top 10 rule; it’s artificial, but with the new tyres its full potential to mix things up could be unlocked. Plus it’s a block on having predictable processions where every front-runner starts on the harder tyres and switches to the softs only at the end. I say give it another year as it can be analysed independently now no-one is realistically going to nurse a set for the whole race. Really, I want them to have a choice of whatever strategy they want with whatever tyres they want.

    1. Oops, I’ve just realised that without the two-compound rule, the Top 10 rule just becomes a way to hamper the front-runners.

      If there has to be a gimmick, why not have the Top 10 rule but for everyone on the odd-side of the grid? That way we could get rid of the silly situation where qualifying 3rd is better than 2nd in the majority of races, as the even-side will have fresher rubber, or choose to go for durability instead. And if there’s no gimmick, we could see such variations in strategy anyway, with a backmarker risking early pace and then nursing the durable set home, holding off the guys on fresh soft rubber.

      1. Of course, I’m basing this on there only being two compounds and teams are free to use whichever they want whenever, as per my reply to f1yankee

  27. What all this comes down to is Bernie wanting to make the playing field that level, that it is a photo finish for all the drivers, on equal points, on the last race of the season – anything to increase audiences = $$$$$

    Artificial rain, rear wings that can only be used at certain times during the race, issuing the drivers with handguns…In this circus, anything is possible! :>)

  28. somerandomguy
    2nd March 2011, 10:24

    drop it. bring back one or two refuelling stops

    1. Bringing back refuelling would also limit strategic variety, as well as being undesirable for a host of other reasons (see 14 reasons to love the refuelling ban).

  29. I’m so glad to see everyone in favor of dropping the rule! I hope they drop the top 10 must start the race on their qualifying tire rule as well.

    As many have pointed out, this rule wouldn’t be needed in the coming season anyway.

    I want to see more variation of strategy than ever before this coming season. Let them have no pit stops, or as many pit stops as their little hearts delight!

  30. @ Keith and all

    Has there been an article about how refuelling ban worked out in 2010? Did I miss it?!
    Because it was a big thing and very controversial when it was introduced. It’d be time to sum it up.

    1. I covered that angle in the 2010 season review here: The six ingredients of F1′s classic 2010 season

  31. I don’t think refueling should be banned either, if a team wants to run full tanks, let em. If a team wants to run on fumes to try and gap the field then stop for fuel, let em.

    I hope 2013 can bring changes like these, and the return to ground effects like Sasquatch and many others have mentioned.

  32. It’s an artificial and complicated rule.
    I believe F1 rules should be clear and natural. So, I would naturally drop the rule.

  33. Coefficient
    2nd March 2011, 10:41

    Drop the rule and bring back refuelling. The cars look obese with hige tanks and don’t look anywhere near as nimble in the twisty stuff. In fact, they look positively clumsy round Monaco.

    Surely they can come up with some device that prevents the driver from selecting 1st gear if the fuel hose is still attached?

    Does anyone know if running lighter and refuelling uses more or less fuel than running filled to the gunnels?

  34. Keep it. Pit stops add an extra dynamic to the race. It’s a team sport, so some part of the race should involve the team. It’s all good having the best car on the grid, but if the team behind you arent up to scratch, then the driver is nothing.

  35. The only good reason that they keep this rule is that all tyres for the dry races are used. But, even with that, I think the rule is too strict. I think it’s already good to have a limited number of sets of tyres to use in 1 GP, so the drivers would not use 1 compound on the whole week-end. And now the Pirellis will make the cars pit more than once, so the mandatory pitstop rule will become pretty useless.

    As for the Q3 tyre rule, I don’t have an opinion right now because I don’t know how it will be this year : maybe we will see more gambles (driver trying to have the pole position with soft tyres, with the risk to have a difficult strategy the next day), but maybe the strategy in qualifying will be the same for everyone, so we should wait to see a few races to spit on this rule (again).

  36. F1 didn’t need refueling and it doesn’t need to keep the mandatory 2 compound pit stop rule.

    I’m presently preparing a draft to be sent to the FIA regarding a new rule for leveling the playing field in F1. This rule has the endorsements of several legendary F1 greats including Nigel Mansell and Ned Flanders.

    The gist of this proposal is that all drivers must stop, exit their their vehicle and run around it 3 times whilst being flogged by their pit crews with wooden paddles. This will all be monitored under the stringent scrutiny of paddock stewards and electric timing sensors. They may then re-enter their vehicles, scream “Bernie is a Nutter!” and resume their race.

    I think it has a chance…. really.

  37. Right this is what they should do, listen up everyone – best idea since sliced bread.

    In a Saturday Qualifying session at a Grand Prix every driver qualifies in the same car – one issued by the FIA at the start of the year and cloned 24 times, just painted different colours to identify which driver is in which car.
    They will then take part in one 45 minute session and the driver that hooks up the perfect lap will claim pole – not the fastest car. This will mean that the gap between pole position and 24th on the grid suddenly becomes around 3 or 4 tenths of a second and it would probably produce a different pole sitter at each event.

    For the race the drivers will then drive their normal teams cars, not the car they qualified in. This means that (for example) Timo Glock could claim pole position on Saturday and then be sat on the grid on Sunday in his Marussia Virgin on pole position thinking how the hell am i going to pull this off! and Vettel could be sat on P18 in the fastest car and have some work to do. Then we see the overtaking.
    It adds an element of randomness into Grand Prix’s that would take the sport to a whole new level. What you would eventually start seeing if this was brought into play would be the top teams employing the driver that can hook up the perfect lap in quali so that their car starts from the front.
    Basically the theory behind this is – The fastest driver gets the pole position, not the fastest car.

    Think about it, the most boring it could possibly get is if Vettel gets pole position…which is what happens now all the time anyway! I see no flaws in this. Can you?

    Thanks for reading. R.Wilson :)

    1. In a nut shell, what you have described is more or less GP2, GP3 and F2.

    2. HounslowBusGarage
      2nd March 2011, 12:13

      So, you would be doubling the number of cars required, equipment, engineers etc etc, all to be moved from race to race around the world. How would this be paid for, and where would these cars be ‘pitted’?

      1. It would cost a large sum at the start of the year for 24 identical Formula 1 cars yes, but it would be worth it out of anybody’s pocket. (FIA & Bernie) there’s no need for any extra engineers and such as they arn’t working on the quali car and race car at the same time. Plus they wouldn’t be allowed to mess with the quali car anyway as the aim is for them all to be exaclty equal. The Quali & Race cars swap places from Parc Ferme to garage on the Saturday Evening.

        1. HounslowBusGarage
          2nd March 2011, 13:31

          Sorry, I think this is a rubbish idea. Have you ever seen how many engineers and pit crew it actually takes to start a Formula 1 car? They’re not like Ford Focuses, you know. A field of 24 identical F1 cars will need nearly as many pit personnel as a full GP2 field. It’s impossibly impractical and ludicrously expensive.

          1. Like i said, why would the teams need to employ anymore people, they arn’t working on the quali car and the race car at the same time….there is no complication.

            I think what it is, is that i just want to see the drivers in equal eqiupment, it would be fascinating to see who is actually the fastest under pressure, for all we know Buemi could be the fastest guy on the grid for example, but how could we ever tell. So i came up with that idea, yes i realise the cost would be mad, i’m not thick i just think it would be worth the extra cost of it all.

  38. No because for the race, they drive their normal cars, so they arn’t equal, only equal equipment in quali, thats the key.

    1. Pete Walker
      2nd March 2011, 13:21

      But Formula 1 is about the best car/driver combination – that includes qualifying…

      1. For me Formula 1 is about the best driver, not the best car, the one flaw in F1 is that you can never really tell who is the best. With the system i have come up with, for the first time, you will be able to tell who the fastest is, thats the beauty of it. Personally though i think there will be that little between them that it would be a different pole sitter at each event which i think would be really exciting when theres thousands of seconds between them.

        1. And thats where you are wrong. F1 has never been about the best driver. That would only be the case if F1 had ever been a spec formula and it hasn’t. Therefore the whole premise of your argument is against what most fans consider the beauty of F1: the driver/machine combination.

  39. Won’t the Pirelli tyres eventually get to the same stage as the Bridgestone tyres were? i.e. harder compound lasting most (if not all) of the race? If this happens wouldn’t it be better to have the rule than to not have it?

  40. The cars are the most reliable and closest they have ever been. By introducing rules like this, it forces pretty much everyone to stick to the same strategy depending where they are on the grid.

    We saw this with fueling where every team would try and overtake during pitstops. I think last season proved what a mistake that rule was.

    With a new tyre company things will be a lot more open as teams and drivers will be getting used to them and will not have the data they have been used to help them be consistent and know exactly what the cars will do.

    I say leave it to the drivers, that’s what there paid for.

    The only person I think would disagree would be Our Nige ;)

  41. HounslowBusGarage
    2nd March 2011, 11:59

    My first reaction was to vote to scrap this stupid and artificial rule, but then I stopped to wonder why we had tyre rules in the first place.
    Back in the days when there was more than one tyre supplier, there was a competition between manufacturers to make the best tyres. And these tyres were a compromise between the extremes of grip and durability on a track-by-track basis. Some tyres favoured some cars, others performed less well on the same tyres.
    When F1 became a single tyre category, the tyres dropped out of importance – they were the same for everyone – and the supplier became almost invisible, to their chagrin.
    So to raise the profile and topicallity of this single supplier, a rather artificial rule was introduced to require each car to run on multiple grades of tyre. The idea was that the viewing public would re-consider the tyre as an attractive ingredient of the entertainment and become re-enthused by particular brand of tyres as a whole.
    I’m not sure why the ‘Top Ten Rule’ was introduced. Didn’t it come at the same as the ‘no-refuelling between qualifying and racing’ rule?
    But we seem to have arrived at a fairly complex rule situation that was based on the need of the sole tyre supplier to get his products mentioned by commentators live on air. And i don’t think that’s terribly sensible.
    In fact, I think it’s pretty stupid. A bit like saying that footballers have to change theor boots partway through the match so that Puma or Adidas or Gola or whoever get extra ‘product placement’ camera time.
    But then, I’m not convinced that F1 should have become a single-tyre series either.
    Obviously, I have way too much time on my hands today.

  42. I hate the top 10 start on tyres they qualified on rule. it is the worst rule in formula 1! Why can’t the top 10 start on tyres they wish, it would make racing at the front so much more exciting as different guys could go on different strategies. As it is, you are practically forcing the top 8 drivers to start on the soft compound.

  43. True racing is done on the circuit!

  44. Keith, Since the overwhelming majority of fans on the world’s biggest F1 fansite think that dropping the 1 stop rule would make for better racing from a fan’s perspective- Do you think that you could somehow let Bernie know how the fans feel? Would be nice to think that the spectators have a little say on what Formula 1 does in the future!

    1. or I should say, have a big voice…

    2. What I think makes F1 Fanatic better then other fansites is that the people here seem to be extremely knowledge and well educated fans. Not like some other sites that I would guess are populated by obnoxious kids that just make crazy statements to get people to notice them.

      1. My dad’s better than yours! At evwything!

    3. …and while you’re at it mention the medal system is not required too. :D

  45. I never like the rule. Keith has summed up how I feel exactly.

    If you can drive slower \ better and save the tyres for the whole race then fine. But I’ve never liked the mandatory pit stop rules either with fuel or tyres.

  46. I votes drop the rule but the one that really should be dropped is the “top ten qualifiers must start on the tyres they qualified on”. If they had decent tires at the start you would get more passing at it.

  47. Drop it,let the driver decide how many times they want to pit.It just spoil the race further,on the other hand if the difference between the two compounds are very big which weren’t the case in many races when Bridgestone brought their tyres then I think it’s OK to keep.

  48. I have never been in favour of the mandatory pit stop rule, so I would like to see it dropped.

    Ideally the degradation of the tyres would be at a level that it would be very difficult to go the whole race without changing them and that a driver choosing a three stopper and going flat out is competitive at the end of the race with someone who looks after their tyres and so does fewer stops.

    If they still wanted drivers to use both compounds, the rule could be modified so that if a driver does make a tyre stop he has to change to the other compound, but if they manage to make the tyres last all race, which shouldn’t be easy, then they don’t have to stop.

  49. Drop it, since if the tyres will require two stops this year anyway, the rule is completely useless.

    For me, the ideal situation would be to have four compounds: supersoft for qualifying, soft that would require two stops per race but would be very fast, medium that would last about half a race (or 3/4 if you’d drive carefully) and a hard tyre that would go the distance, but would be slow. And ideally, the amount to do the whole race distance would be similar on all the compounds.

    Also, it would be nice to see back the old rule, when you didn’t have to have the same compound all round the car. For example, in Istanbul, the car could have a hard front right and soft/medium everywhere else.

  50. I say keep the rule:

    * As a reminder for future tire manufacturers not to manufacture too hard materials.
    * During the last few years, the pit stops were a moment to wait for during many of the rather “boring” races so something different happened, a reshuffle because of different strategies etc. Making pit stops mandatory simply keeps one of the things that can make boring race more interesting.
    * Just like the part mentioned above a mandatory pit stop can help a blocked driver to actually race instead of being in tow after slower car with the impossibility to pass. This too makes the races more interesting.

    All rules that punish drivers for reaching Q3 – delete forever.

  51. Well, there is no need for it now with Pirelli it seems. Drop it I say.

    I didn’t have anything against it in the first place.

  52. The rule just makes F1 appear even more complicated and combined with the silly top 10 qualifying rule and the ARW restrictions it’ll make the sport harder to follow and enjoy.

    It can make things more entertaining in some respects by the top 10 being forced into looking after their soft tyres in the race and cause a bit of a mix up if someone starts on the harder compound but it is completely contrived and artificial. It takes away from the purity of racing and doesn’t even begin to really address the problem of the lack of overtaking i.e. the aero rules and especially track design.

    What’s more the top 10 qualifying rule punishes those who have actually done well which isn’t fair (although the FIA didn’t even stick to it as in Aus Kubica was allowed a new set of the option tyre as he had a flat spot I believe) and the one stop strategy limits strategy or at least it did in the Bridgstone days but it seems everyone will have to stop at least once anyway with the Pirelli’s but it still forces the drivers to choose compounds they may not want to.

    Let the teams pit when they want and take on what compounds they want on both the Saturday and Sunday and let them plan their own race weekend instead of niggly little rules that may be designed to help overtaking but actually take away from the racing.

  53. Snow Donkey
    2nd March 2011, 14:33

    With the Bridgestones, I think the rule took away from what could have been. The tires were durable enough that drivers could have made the gamble to go the whole way on the harder tires.
    With the Pirellis, this will not be the case. Unlike most of you though, I see this as a more valid reason to keep the rule. If the harder compound still needs 2-3 stops in a race, I feel forcing teams to use both compounds will add an element with these new tires as it will be much more difficult to decide where to use the soft compound.
    Also, with the uber-quick degradation of the softs, I see more potential for drivers in the top 10 shootout to try and qualify on the harder compound.
    Much as I hated these rules when Bridgestone was around, I vote to give the rules a chance this year with Pirelli. They could work well with tires that clearly cannot last the race distance.

  54. Drop the rule and mandate a tyre specification that will ensure they’re running on canvas by lap 30. But keep the rule in place that both specifications must be used in a race and mandate that those specifications should have a significant performance differential: ie. prime is an 25-lap endurance tire and option is a 15-lap performance tire.

    1. That was actually a bit self-contradictory. I guess I’m in favour of requiring use of both compounds. But you could eliminate the mandatory pitstop such that, a driver could opt to go the whole race on a set of tyres, BUT if they pit, they are required to use both compounds at some point during the race.

      With the current Pirelli tyre, it’s all a bit moot anyway.

  55. StefMeister
    2nd March 2011, 15:35

    I would like to see it removed, Been honest I was never in favor of it been brought in to start with.

    I’d like to see Pirelli bring more compounds to each race rather than just 2. Give teams 3 or 4 compounds & then just leave them to run them as they wish.

    I’d like to see tyres like this:
    Soft’s = Best performance, High Wear, last about 15-20 laps.
    Medium’s = Maybe half second slower, Last around half race distance.
    Hard’s = About 1 second slower, Can last a full race distance.

    No mandatory stops, Just let Teams & Drivers do whatever they want with tyres during the races. If Hamilton wants to go flat out on Soft’s planning 2-stops while Button wants to No-Stop on Hard’s then let them & if they switch strategy Mid-Race & opt to switch to another compound they can.

    As to the tyres, I personally think there falling away far too quickly, The Super-Soft’s/Soft’s are acting like the old qualifying tyres used to, 1 very fast lap & then a huge performance loss. The Drop-Off should be smaller, Tyres shoudn’t be 4-5+ seconds slower after 12 laps as thats not going to produce good competitive racing.

    If we see used tyres v fresh tyres the performance difference is going to be so large that its going to be like watching a race between a 2010 Red Bull & HRT, An easy pass with the faster car proceeding to run away & hide.

    Like Webber said recently, Im not sure how entertaining that sort of thing is going to be to watch.

  56. As I see it what is needed is a rule that is not artificial, that allows the teams to decide and run their own strategies and does not increase costs.
    My solution to this would be to give the teams all the tires they need to race for the year at the start of the year. the teams would then be free to decide how and when to use their stocks of tires. So that the teams stratagies are wholly their own decision I would remove all rule governing what tires the teams can use in race/qualy, top 10, using both compounds etc. this I think could really mix things up and allow for some very different strategies lasting for a whole season which I would really enjoy watching.

  57. Electrolite
    2nd March 2011, 16:04

    There are times where it has been successful, but other rules have changed since and there really isn’t any need for it now. Let’s hope it’s out for 2012.

  58. My view is simple. We had a fascinating close season last year, so in a way the Pit stop rule must have contributed to that. So what the hell keep it. Why fiddle if something works. Like the Ecclestone rain idea too! :)

    1. Electrolite
      2nd March 2011, 16:19

      It wasn’t just last year when the rule was in force though. As the article states, they’ve had to do it for four years.

  59. I’ve already voiced my opinion here many a time. Drop the sucker.

  60. I refuse to vote as it is the wrong question. I don’t think there is a mandatory pitstop rule is there? Surely it is the rule that demands both tyre compounds be used which forces pitstops.

    I would agree that perhaps getting rid of this rule could spice up the racing but that would then hinge on the differences between the tyres and how each driver/chassis combo uses them. One driver may be able to get the hard tyres to go for a whole race whereas another may need to stop once. A third driver could go for the softs stopping 3 times. and all the different permutations in between. If you were going to do this though, I would think that it is prefferable to get rid of the second compound leaving us with open stops and the one compound!

    Oh back to where we started!

    The second compound was only introduced to keep Bridgestone happy because people would be talking about tyres!

    If Pirelli were to make one compound, maybe even the existing hard compound would do which I don’t think will even do a race distance, where the performance falls off a lot over distance, you would get a variety of strategies anyway.

    1. I refuse to vote as it is the wrong question. I don’t think there is a mandatory pitstop rule is there? Surely it is the rule that demands both tyre compounds be used which forces pitstops.

      Which is made clear in the first paragraph.

      1. So the question should surely be “should the rule mandating the use of both tyre compounds be dropped?”.

        I don’t see the point in voting to drop a rule that doesn’t exist.

        1. No-one is in any doubt about the meaning of the piece, I’m obviously not going to write a headline that long and you’re just being pedantic.

          1. Actually the title of the poll isn’t consistent with the poll question asked – the tyres are changing this year so what was successful in the past might not be suitable for the future.

            I think the rule was successful last year as it provided some variation for the Bridgestone tyres where neither new prime tyres nor option tyres provided a sufficient performance advantage. Most races would have been done on the prime tyre with no stops at all. This year a fresh set of Pirelli tyres provides more than a sufficient advantage to make stops beneficial.

  61. I say KEEP IT. Kobayashi in Valencia is an example of the success. He had an aggressive strategy, changed his tyres with just 2 laps left & made some stunning overtakes. One on the last corner of the last lap.

    1. The Last Pope
      2nd March 2011, 17:37

      +1. The top ten tyre rule should go though, its just a left over from the 2009 “ready to race” qualifying top 10. It makes no sense now the top ten cars are finishing qualifying on empty tanks just like the rest of the field.

      1. Actually I’d say it makes more sense having the top 10 starting on used tyres. Now that starting on worn tyres with Pirelli will be a bigger handicap than with Bridgestone.

  62. I voted to drop it, although I can see why it is a good rule for F1’s ‘green’ image, this way the majority of the tyres get used.

    Honestly I’m not too fussed, the major loss is that no one can do single stint races (if that is even possible with the new tyres). I think in the end if the rule was removed it wouldn’t make a lot of difference, generally all the teams prefer one tyre over the other so they would just race on that.

    1. At most races we would end up with a qualifying tyre and a race tyre. If you were going to drop the mandatory use of both compounds you might as well change the rules so Pirelli only have to take one compound to each race.

  63. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    2nd March 2011, 21:39

    Bernie bangs on about turning sprinklers on to make the races more exciting when getting rid of this stupid rule (and the blue flag rule) would do just that.

    Sometimes I wonder what kind of people run this sport.

  64. Should drop it and bring back mid race refuelling!!! The cars are so much better to watch flat out not conserving fuel!!! Plus strategy changes mid race, chop the field up a little. It becomes less of a parade if your strategy can change from other drivers.

    1. StefMeister
      2nd March 2011, 23:34

      Don’t think refueling should ever come back to F1, Hated it from day 1 & was glad they finally got rid of it.

      All refueling did when we had it was make fuel strategy the most important factor of any race & it took the racing off the track & into the pits with race results been determined by the strategy guys who were working everything out on laptop computers in the pits.

      I knew refueling would harm F1 from the very 1st race at Brazil 1994 when a great scrap for the lead between Senna & Schumacher was completely ruined by refueling stops. Had there been no refueling we most likely would hve had a nice on track fight for the lead for most the race, As it was after 20 laps or whatever it was, Schumi passed Senna in the pit lane & ran off into the distance.

      Similar thing happened over & over again, Good on-track fights broken up because of refueling strategy. As such I think refueling hurt more races than it helped.

      On-Track overtaking figures went down after refueling came in as teams started using fuel strategy to jump cars in the pits, Before teams had this option we had more passing been done on the track & races were generally more intresting and exciting to watch.

      1. Ditto!

        The real fuel and tyre rules are are inked into the design of the car by the teams and the engineering of the tyres by the manufacturer.

        To wit: drive as fast and as hard as you like, but if you run out of fuel or destroy your tyres… It’s your tough luck.

        Any rules more than this are simply superfluous and artificial.

  65. I think saying that the rule existed for 71 races is nly true on face value. Remember, for 52 of these 71 races (pre-2010) refueling was allowed, so pit-stops were always going to be there and thus the change of tyre wasn’t a significant penalty.

    For 2010, This rule was an ABSOLUTE MUST. The longevity of Bridgestones meant that anyone could complete an entire race without stopping. And with overtaking so difficult, the races would have been procession from lap 2 to the last lap.
    It is because of this rule Fernando won at Monza, if this rule didn’t exist, he probably would have won the title too. Fernando’s crash in P3 would have ruined his entire weekend if not for this rule.

    And what is bloody hell wrong in having a bit of strategy in F1. Without refueling we already have no strategy in F1. This rule goes a long way in addressing those concerns.

    Stop saying that F1 should be pure speed and only evaluate the skill of driver.
    F1 is not a driver’s sport but a team sport, and teams should have a chance to use their hi-tech computers and come up with out-of-the-box strategies.

  66. I cant stand the compulsory pitstop to be honest, or that you need to start on the same tyres you did quali 3 on.

    How about treating the teams and drivers like grown ups. Take a sensible allocation of tyres of each type per team, give them to the team.

    Then (and this is a revolutionary idea I know ;-), let them figure out what strategy they want to run. If they use too many soft tyres in quali, they have to run all hard compound tyres for the race.

    (i.e 2 hard compound runs or 1 hard 2 soft compounds runs).

    Manufactured racing very rarely produces good racing.

    I dont know why F1 finds it so difficult not to micro manage everything that might actually result in what we want to see. Actual racing, with strategy that isnt forced onto racers.

    Rant over. :-)

  67. The mandatory pit-stop rule really ought to be scrapped, like you said Keith, it served a purpose for Bridgestone. It would be fascinating to watch a race without it and see how the various teams deal with any given race. Certain teams would be better suited to certain tyres which when you pit longevity versus speed it would only exaggerate how great the racing is at the moment.

    Fundamentally though, this is a bit of a non-issue for me. I expect F1 drivers to complain when they experience undesirable degradation but I also expect the same drivers will take some pleasure when they race as a result of a chasing driver no longer being able to compete with rubber. Swings and roundabouts basically!

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