Should F1 drivers be forced to make two pit stops?

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Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Circuit of the Americas, 2013Formula One drivers could be required by the rules to make two pit stops per race in 2014.

F1′s Strategy Group has proposed forcing drivers to pit twice per race and limiting how long each driver can run on each type of tyre, according to a report in Autosport.

Would this be a positive change for the sport?

For

The proposed change would impose tight limits on how long each driver could run on a set of tyres for, reducing their incentive to preserve their tyres. Excessive tyre preservation has been a criticism of racing this year.

This could also have a safety benefit, as drivers would not be able to run the tyres until they are at risk of failing. At the Indian Grand Prix this year Pirelli expressed concerns over teams running the tyres for longer stints than they felt was safe.

Against

Forcing drivers to make a minimum number of pit stops could reduce the scope for variety in the racing. On several occasions this year battles for position have been created by drivers making fewer pit stops than their rivals, which will be harder to do with these restrictions.

Races which feature a single pit stop for most drivers are not necessarily viewed as boring. For example last year’s United States Grand Prix was rated as one of the best dry races of the season.

Ensuring that drivers use tyres safely would be better achieved by giving them more time to test them, which has already been arranged for next year.

I say

This proposal would further reduce the freedom drivers and teams have with their tyre strategies. But past attempts to do so by forcing them to use both tyre compounds during races (in effect, requiring one mandatory pit stop) and making the top ten qualifiers start on used tyres have not achieved this goal.

It’s not hard to see why. Genuinely exciting racing comes from the unpredictable and unexpected. Rules such as these serve only to make racing more predictable and less exciting.

I’ve watched DTM and A1 Grand Prix races with multiple mandatory tyre stops and found the inevitability of each pit stop made for unexciting, dumbed-down racing. Formula One should avoid making the same mistake by replacing genuine racing strategy with fixed-duration tyre stints.

Instead of dubious sticking-plaster solutions like this F1 needs to address the deeper problems inhibiting good racing which have been ignored for too long. Such as how aerodynamic turbulence prevents cars from following each other closely, and why F1 hasn’t had a full grid for 18 years.

You say

Do you want to see more mandatory pit stops in F1? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

[poll id="452"]

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169 comments on Should F1 drivers be forced to make two pit stops?

  1. Tayyib (@m0nzaman) said on 29th November 2013, 16:49

    I dont see how pit stops make for a more exciting race. I agree with Keith it would be a stop gap to hide the bigger issue. Problem is too many people in the written press want it catered for casual F1 fans and for it to be easy to understand. They want it to be a mickey mouse sport and not F1

    Rant over

  2. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 29th November 2013, 17:17

    HUGE mistake F1 community. You have voted (overwhelming) against the idea which means the FIA will already be inking up their “PASSED” stamp as we speak.

    Seriously though, why? The argument that it will reduce tyre conservation phases doesn’t hold water because they will all be fuel saving anyway! From what I’ve hard of fuel saving mixed with Pirelli’s conservative tyres, one set of tyres will likely last a few GPs anyway!

  3. Somethingwittyer (@somethingwittyer) said on 29th November 2013, 17:46

    It’s times like these were I wish the FIA would come to their senses and just have hard, soft and wet tire compounds + in race refueling.

    • Why would you want refueling back, It destroyed the on-track racing last time it was around & was a big part of why the number of on-track overtakes declined so massively from the very 1st race it was allowed.

      Refueling sucked & should never be allowed back to ruin F1 again!

      • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 29th November 2013, 20:45

        Yes, and the “strategy” element of refuelling – stick to your target lap time and avoid on-track racing – has hung around like a bad smell even after it was banned.

      • ScuderiaFerrariMarlboro27 said on 30th November 2013, 3:24

        At least when there was overtaking you knew it was something special. Think Mika Hakkinen passing Schumi round the other side of the BAR at Spa.

        Modern F1 has eliminated the opportunity for genuine classic moments because they want to create a lottery in every GP to keep the childish masses happy.

        Last to First these days is NO acheivement.

  4. Chris (@ukphillie) said on 29th November 2013, 18:13

    So what have we got here then. Oooh, a sport that combines speed, engineering, strategy and skill.

    I know..let’s make the cars slower every four or five years, that should take this speed nonsense out of it. Now, what have we got left? Ah…engineering. I don’t like the sound of that, not your average TV watching chav friendly enough. Let’s just freeze development ridiculously early on and restrict the set ups to borderline spec series. Done and done!

    Right, we’ll be having none of this skill nonsense. How about…..oh and you’re gonna love this….how about everytime cars are close to one another, we give the one behind a speed advantage? We could do this by….oh, I dunno, opening the rear wing? Yes, yes. I like the sound of that.

    So that just leaves strategy. Easy way to kill this one off. Two mandatory pit stops.

    Righty-Ho, we’ve cracked it lads. We’ve murdered F1 in a few easy steps….To The Gentlemens Club!

  5. graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 29th November 2013, 18:22

    facepalm

  6. ElBasque (@elbasque) said on 29th November 2013, 18:27

    We’d lose events like Saubers frequent 2012 tyre wear inspired giant-killing if this was brought in. Achieving a low tyre wear design for a car should be rewarded just like the team with the best diffuser.

  7. Yusha (@freebird78) said on 29th November 2013, 19:05

    No way. Not a good idea to say the least. The teams should be given the freedom to decide the number of pit stops. The FIA and the strategy group should look at the rules and come up with something which reduces the cars reliance on aerodynamics to increase the chances of over takes and they should have tyres which allow the drivers to race and not drive to a damn delta for the last 40 laps of the race.

  8. Defiantly no.

    The main advantage of getting rid of refuelling was that it allowed more variety with strategies and kept people guessing when a driver would stop.

    With refuelling you knew a driver would have to stop by lap x or run out of fuel, as it is now, yes drivers have to use both compounds which is another rule I don’t agree with, but if a driver can make the tyres last you don’t know when exactly they will stop.

    If this proposed rule comes in then we will know that even if a driver is having no problems with his tyres he will have to stop in x laps because he is only allowed so long on each set.

    I really hope this rule is not introduced but the way F1 is going I fear it will be, and I can see my enjoyment of F1 further diminishing.

  9. 68btyme (@steadyb) said on 29th November 2013, 20:24

    If they could just get get back to the tires from 2012. Or go with only soft, medium, and hard tires during the races. Use the super softs for qualifying only, as the super softs seem to be nothing more than qualifying tires anyway.

  10. matt90 (@matt90) said on 29th November 2013, 20:37

    Can’t we just bring in reverse grids, points for every practice session, more DRS, heavier cars, ~30 minute races with a compulsory safety car 3 laps from the end, a chase for the championship and fan-assigned extra DRS or KERS boosts and be done with it?

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 29th November 2013, 20:39

      *If anybody from the FIA should happen read this, I don’t trust you to spot the obvious sarcasm, so here’s something that may shock you- all those suggestions were sarcastic and all are terrible ideas.

  11. Terrible idea. Not only does it miss the point of having heavy-wear tyres, it also eliminates the strategy element and will introduce more cruising. Next thing you know, there will be pitstop windows and safety cars for every yellow on the track.

  12. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 29th November 2013, 23:27

    I’ll keep this short:

    No.

  13. Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 30th November 2013, 0:02

    2012 – 7 races, 7 different winners – we want that! Not 2 mandatory pit stops with tyres that could go 100 laps.

    • That sounds good, but the reason we had 7 different winners is because the Pirellis worked for one specific car at one specific track. That’s why Mercedes won on China and struggled everywhere else

    • ScuderiaFerrariMarlboro27 said on 30th November 2013, 3:36

      How was that good? Do you honestly consider that exciting? All this does is eliminate the opportunity for those rare once-a-season genuinly surpising Grands Prix born out of unmitigating circumstances, like say Brazil 03, Canada 08, Australia 02, spa98 i could go on forever.

      And back in the day when a young driver won his first GP you knew a star was born. Now days its just the product of the FIAsco’s botched sunday lottery. Its a farce.

      I much prefer motoGP where 3 riders only have a realistic chance of winning and if anyone else manages to score a podium let alone win you knew they earned their stripes. Then you have your classic head to head championship fight like Marquez v Lorenzo this year.
      Or
      Senna v Prost
      Schumi v Hill
      Schumi v Villeneuve
      Schumi v Mika
      Schumi v Alonso
      Massa v Hamilton

      Every year in the days of real f1 there was at least 1 lottery race a year. WHY DO WE NEED TO ARTIFICIALLY RECREATE THAT IN EVERY GP? It takes what was once special and devalues it to every other sunday.

      Thanks Bernie
      Thanks FIAsco

      Your doing a great job

  14. John H (@john-h) said on 30th November 2013, 0:02

    Ok, let’s say we get to tweet how many hairs we think are on a randomly selected Kiwi fruit, now divide the average error of the fans by the real hair count and the reciprocal of this is the number of pit stops per driver (pit stop density) that is permitted or else 8.5 penalty points are applied to each driver’s helmet in the form of spokey dokey ballast. #F1

  15. Mark in Florida said on 30th November 2013, 0:18

    Well if you want to level the field a bit have a mandated front and rear wings like Indy racing has and sealed engines. This would hopefully level the tire wear to manageable degrees for everyone. Weight penalty for winners and power refactoring like the ALMS series does. Get rid of drs up the engine power and reduce down force. Make the tires stronger so that the drivers aren’t afraid to push it hard. Remember in the old days with less aerodynamics involved the drivers could really hang on the ragged edge.

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