Has the mandatory pit stop rule been a success?

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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?

For

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.

Against

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?

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  1. cubejam (@cubejam) said on 2nd March 2011, 17:10

    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.

    • The Last Pope said on 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.

      • cubejam (@cubejam) said on 3rd March 2011, 5:38

        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.

  2. George (@george) said on 2nd March 2011, 17:53

    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.

    • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 2nd March 2011, 19:55

      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.

  3. SennaNmbr1 (@sennanmbr1) said on 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.

  4. BROOKSY007 (@brooksy007) said on 2nd March 2011, 22:01

    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.

    • StefMeister said on 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.

      • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 3rd March 2011, 0:37

        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.

  5. sumedh said on 3rd March 2011, 3:23

    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.

  6. Andy C said on 3rd March 2011, 16:31

    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. :-)

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th April 2012, 23:05

    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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