Should F1 drivers be forced to make two pit stops?

Debates and Polls

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.

Should drivers be required to make two pit stops per race in 2014?

  • Yes (8%)
  • No (89%)
  • No opinion (3%)

Total Voters: 521

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

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  1. Jason (@saint-jay) said on 30th November 2013, 1:33

    Mandatory pitstops are kind of like that artificial rain idea that came up a few years ago.

    It would probably make the racing better, but it wouldn’t really be racing, would it?

  2. Adam Blocker (@blockwall2) said on 30th November 2013, 2:30

    Hell to the no. Stupidest thing ever.

    I just want to know who voted for ‘yes’. I hope they were all either drunk or they simply misclicked, or both.

  3. Jared H (@thejaredhuang) said on 30th November 2013, 8:09

    I still don’t get why they banned refueling. If they reinstated refueling it would most likely let the drivers push on the current tires and it would also make for a different strategy for designers. The FIA could still enforce the total fuel consumption by only allowing the teams x amount of liters, it just becomes the team’s choice to design how big of a fuel tank they want.

    I know people against refueling argue that it takes away from the on track action but those are probably the same people that whine about DRS passes. I’d rather see a driver put in 18 qualifying laps than a driver do 30 slow laps.

  4. Bjorn Sandberg said on 30th November 2013, 8:33

    Ridiculous! Get rid of ALL pit stops, make Pirelli produce tyres that will last the entire race! Make them so durable the dirvers can drive flat out all the time. This will mean harder tires, less grip, more sliding, but what´s wrong with that?

  5. Edwin Lee (@shadowchaser) said on 30th November 2013, 14:55

    I agree with Jared H, bring back refuelling, but only once during any race. Also bring back tyre manufacturer choice so that the teams can choose which tyre maker they prefer, Firestone, Goodyear etc. Pirelli would then have some competition to go against.

  6. BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th November 2013, 17:28

    I have just gone over the comments. Is there ANY comment positive of the change (apart from the sarcastic ones :-o)?

    I must say it surprises me that as many as 38 people have been voting in favour of this proposal (of a total of 423 currently)

  7. Florin G (@floring) said on 30th November 2013, 19:02

    Hey, if you want this poll to actually mean something, don’t use words like ‘force’ in the title and don’t express your opinion just before the voting form. Cheers!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th November 2013, 20:03

      @floring The headline is a fair description of what’s been proposed. Under the proposal drivers would be forced to pit at least twice per race whether they needed to or not. Normally I try to keep it close to the title of the poll to avoid confusion, as is the case here.

      The layout is the standard format used for polls on F1 Fanatic (apart from Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend which have their own styles). I try to give both points of view as plainly as I can (i.e. ‘For’ and ‘Against’).

      I also give my opinion because past experience has shown I either get asked what it is or accused of having written the ‘For’ and ‘Against’ opinions in such a way as to push a particular view. It would be silly to pretend I don’t have an opinion so why not include it? Particularly as those who’ve been reading a while will already know anyway. At any rate I think you vastly overestimate my ability to influence what other people think!

      • Florin G (@floring) said on 30th November 2013, 22:09

        It’s ok to have an opinion and probably yours is more competent than most, but if you express it just a couple of scrolls away from the poll, I think the general user will be affected by it even if he/she might normally think different. That is what I meant to say. And no, I don’t overestimate your ability of influence, it is only normal to be so. That is why this kind of thing is regulated in political polls, for instance. People do act like sheep, no disrespect for other users, it’s just human nature.
        I am curious what this poll would look like if the title was say… “Are two mandatory pit stops a good thing for F1?” or something along this line, then just presenting the facts and stating your opinion on a related linked article, just like you did when you replied to my post.
        It is my personal opinion this poll is flawed. Now the majority might still be on the “no, it’s wrong” side, but the percentages would be more balanced had it been constructed differently.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd December 2013, 11:54

          @floring All I can say is that from my experience people are quite capable of making up their minds for themselves. As a case in point, I would offer this conversation as an example. You’ve obviously decided on your point of view and mine is obviously having little effect!

  8. dansus (@dansus) said on 30th November 2013, 20:47

    NO NO NO and NO!!

    ***, stop ruining F1 with these short term, pointless gimmicks.

  9. dansus (@dansus) said on 30th November 2013, 20:52

    Genuinely exciting racing comes from the unpredictable and unexpected. Rules such as these serve only to make racing more predictable and less exciting

    Gospel. This needs to printed above every FIA/FOM door and hallway.

  10. Couldn’t agree more with Keith. Most notably the last paragraph.

    It does strike me as being a little odd though. Over the years as on-track overtakes steadily declined, until the introduction of KERS and DRS, did no-one from FOTA or the FIA suggest a change to aero regs to stop/reduce the turbulent air produced by cars??

    Honestly, no-one came up with that? If not, they all deserve to be fired. If yes, then why was nothing done about it..? Really done about it, not throwing KERS and the DRS gimmick at the problem?

    • SFM27 said on 1st December 2013, 0:05

      Wasn’t that what the 2009 reg change was for? All that served to acheive was giving us ugly cars and loads of gimmicks.

      Then every time anyone game up with an ingenious design within the rules the FIAsco have banned it almost immediately.

      Now we will have dud looking cars and dud sounding engines on the grounds of “relevance”. If they really care about relevance they wouldn’t be banning every major technical revelation the teams discover.

      Look how many engine suppliers and full works teams there were in the 2000’s with “irrelevant” (yet incredible sounding and spectacular) V10’s. But no the FIA had to kill it and the manufacturers waved goodbye.

      They’re just trying to turn F1 into Mario Kart to appeal to fresh markets, and race on ultra modern psuedo-glitterati carpark track ignoring 64 years of F1 history.

  11. Breno (@austus) said on 1st December 2013, 15:07

    Knowing Pirelli, FIA wont need to create a rule for that.

  12. Travis (@mcmerctn) said on 2nd December 2013, 3:14

    While I feel that a 2 stop race is ideal, this is definitely not the right way to implement it. That should be done with the tires.

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