Fans strongly oppose 2014 mandatory pit stops plan

2014 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2013F1 Fanatic readers overwhelmingly oppose a plan for drivers to make two compulsory pit stops per race during the 2014 season.

A proposal requiring drivers to make two pit stops per race, and limiting how long they could run on each tyre compound, has been put forward by the F1 Strategy Group.

The F1 Commission, which includes representatives from all the teams plus the FIA and FOM, will now decide whether it should form part of the 2014 F1 regulations.

However an F1 Fanatic poll indicated fans strongly disapprove of the plan, with almost 90% of more than 500 readers voting against it:

Here’s a sample of some of the responses left by readers:

They have the mandatory system in DTM and more often than not, the results are very predictable. There are changes that need to be made to F1, but this is not one of them.
Steven (@Steevkay)

There are issues over tyre wear, granted. Enforcing a two-stop strategy isn?t the way to deal with the problem. In any case tyre management, like it or not, is part of the skill of an F1 driver. Sort out the wear issues and leave the pit stops up to the team strategists.

At first blush, the idea of a fixed number of pit stops seems rather unappealing.
@McKenzie

Imposing a two-stop-races is a bad idea, it would make races even more standardised, we could have the risk of seeing the same race happening at every venue.
@Dan_the_McLaren_fan

Aren?t there enough things changing for 2014 already? Surely we should wait and see how good the racing is with turbo engines, increased KERS etc… before introducing another rule to try to fix a problem that may no longer exist!
Rob T

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.
@ElBasque

There are enough artificial rules and gimmicks in F1. We don?t need more of them.
@Bebilou

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61 comments on Fans strongly oppose 2014 mandatory pit stops plan

  1. hawkii (@hawkii) said on 2nd December 2013, 12:27

    The only way this idea should even be thought about is if they get rid of the rules about certain percentages of the race done on each tyre, starting on the tyres you set your fastest lap on, and eliminating the rule that says you need to use both compounds.

    If you were allowed to start the race on whatever tyre you wanted, then go prime-prime-prime or option-option-option then it might be vaguely useful. Otherwise, what’s the point? You’d be better off just telling Pirelli to make the tyres bombproof and get rid of a mandatory stop altogether.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 3rd December 2013, 15:58

      A good way to implement this bad idea would be forcing drivers to use at least 3 different tyres… e.g. soft, super soft, hard….

    • trophicip (@trophicip) said on 3rd December 2013, 22:37

      I don’t disagree altogether. Mandatory pit stops will be like refueling without the danger and lightning pit stops. I think they should get rid of the mandatory use of one tire or the other and let the team decide which strategy is best. One team could run all options and make three pit stops. That would be exciting. The tire management, although part of the reality of F1 is outright wrong. We want to see drivers drive as fast as they can and break as late as they can, that would spice up the races.

  2. David Livingstone said on 2nd December 2013, 12:28

    Bring refuelling back, and it will be optimal for drivers to make multiple pit stops on most occasions regardless.

    It’s a rather arbitrary rule and one which compounds the issues with the tyres currently. If they were driving on the limit more frequently, I for one would enjoy watching alot more.

    • Michael Brown (@) said on 2nd December 2013, 14:53

      No refueling has been good for F1

      • David Livingstone said on 2nd December 2013, 15:25

        Care to elaborate?

        As far as I can tell, it’s directly contributed to races where tyre management has become key because of heavy fuel loads and a restriction of pit stop strategy. It’s very rarely we see a variety of strategy, particularly among front runners and teammates.

        The gist of the problem is that cars are lapping ALOT slower than they could be with refuelling in place. They’re lapping at a GP2 pace, rather than the pace of an F1 car, for the majority of the race. I fail to find this exciting from both a theoretical or practical point of view.

        • Michael Brown (@) said on 2nd December 2013, 16:00

          I shall.

          The removal of refueling has increased the amount of on track overtaking since it was reduced. The 2010 season had more overtakes than any season between 1994 and 2009.

          With no refueling, drivers are encouraged to overtake the car ahead as fast as possible, instead of saving fuel behind them until the pit stops.

          No refueling also means the races are easier to follow. We no longer have to keep track of who needs to stop for fuel (of course, the mandatory pit stop rule has ruined this).

          Race strategy was decided on Saturday because drivers would have to start on the same fuel level they qualified on. Q3 laps were less exciting than they are now, where drivers can go flat out with as little fuel as they dare.

          While the removal of refueling has been positive, its full potential has not been realized by the mandatory pit stop rule and the Q3 qualifying rule. I think refueling has its place in endurance racing, but for sprint racing like F1, it is not needed.

          • David Livingstone said on 2nd December 2013, 17:11

            1) DRS also played a large part in the on track overtaking, coupled with drivers having to preserve tyres in favor of defending their position when faced with a faster car.

            2) It was never very common to see a car “save fuel” behind another. More likely they would change their strategy if stuck behind with a similar fuel load, forcing the other driver to either cover or risk losing the position.

            3) I think that strategy adds to the intrigue of the sport rather than detracts from it. A diversification of strategy and the ability for teams to run their car in a wider variety of ways should theoretically provide better (read: closer) racing, as there is now more than one way to run the race, which may be suited to one particular car design.

            4) I am in absolutely no way in favor of a system where you qualify with race fuel. That was ridiculous.

            5) For F1 to be a sprint race, to me, teams should be allowed to run whichever strategy covers the 300km in the shortest period of time. That will inevitably involve pitting for fuel, and mean drivers are driving on the limit more frequently.

          • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 2nd December 2013, 17:41

            David Livingstone, DRS and Pirelli tyres weren’t a factor in 2010, which is the year @lite1992 referred to.

          • Geoffrey, David is still correct in what he is saying. 2010 is an exception because it was a big change to the rules, combined with the top 3 teams being very close to one another in terms of performance. 2011 is a more accurate reflection on how the regs effect racing.

            It boggles my mind how fans fail to see that giving the teams the freedom to adopt whatever strategy they want makes for more interesting races. When you have the fastest car and the only option your competitor has is to put new tyres on it is VERY easy to predict and dominate races. This is why Vettel has found it so easy to dominate and whoever has the advantage next year will do the same. Predictability is the name of the game and it needs to change.

          • hobo (@hobo) said on 3rd December 2013, 15:19

            @magnificent-geoffrey & David Livingstone – DRS may not have been a factor in 2010 but the f-duct was, which was simply a precursor. I think David’s point #1 stands in that regard.

            I’m also for the return of refuelling. MSC’s extra pit stop on low fuel and new tires was an off-the-wall strategy call that worked for the win. I want to see more strategy options used.

        • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 2nd December 2013, 16:04

          The gist of the problem is that cars are lapping ALOT slower than they could be with refuelling in place. They’re lapping at a GP2 pace, rather than the pace of an F1 car.

          I think that will be less of a problem next year because they’re starting with 50 kilos less of fuel.

    • ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 2nd December 2013, 19:33

      I’m begging people to put the rose tinted specs down.

      Refuelling was horrible. There’s no debate on that, folks. It was universally disliked. All it did was encourage short stints and rob us of ANY on-track action. For 1 season, it might work to spice things up, but as a long term solution, we tried it! It didn’t work.

      • PeterG said on 2nd December 2013, 23:05

        Refueling was NOT more exciting & I seriously can’t understand how anyone could believe that it was.

        All we ever saw in the refueling days was pit-passing, There was no overtaking (Stats show massive decline in overtaking from day 1 of refueling, They shot back up in 2010 when fueling was banned) on track because races were totally dominated by fuel strategy.
        We often had cars ‘racing’ for position that were nowhere close to each other on the track because they were ‘racing’ in the pits (2004 French Gp is a good example of this).

        The current tyre situation isn’t ideal, But at the very least cars are racing/passing on the track rather than in the pit lane as was the case during the horridly dull refueling era.

        Refueling may well have been interesting from a strategy point of view but it did nothing but hurt the on-track racing which for me should be the most important part of a race.

        The racing was better pre-refueling & was better after it, Refueling should NEVER be brought back!

        • Peter, all i want is interesting races. I can’t convey in words how bored I have been watching this season. I can easily sacrifice on track action for more interesting races and teams being allowed to take it to Redbull/Vettel by getting smart with strategies. Also, don’t you think that the god awful DRS would mean we get interesting races AND on track action? No driver is gonna wait for a pit stop when he can press a button on his steering wheel and highway pass the guy in front.

        • LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge) said on 3rd December 2013, 17:02

          Word!

    • DC (@dujedcv) said on 5th December 2013, 11:36

      What about those sprinklers back in 2010? Or how about racing on a gravel track? Would that do the trick for the FIA and mr Gremlinstone

  3. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 2nd December 2013, 12:33

    I find this verdict rather baffling in the wake of a year where the tyres are set to be so durable that the only appearance of a strategic element to a race would be the single stop we currently have as mandatory. OK, I don’t like the idea of F1, the pinnacle of motorsport, pointing at DTM and saying “let’s copy that”, and it would be overtly artificial; but that rather begs the question, why has F1 fallen out of love with tyre degradation? Am I the only one that can still remember the brilliant races in the first halves of 2011/2? OK, it went too far in the first half of this year, but only because it was a success in previous years. What is the point of sending the cars out on a Saturday, lining the fastest one up at the front of the grid and being surprised when it dominates the race? Without degradation the entire weekend will be geared towards going as fast as possible, thus making the team with fastest car completely unbeatable. Bring back sensible levels of degradation, or if you are completely adamant over going conservative on tyre next year, Pirelli, then we’re going to need another stop to stay awake.

    • Diego (@ironcito) said on 2nd December 2013, 12:45

      Without degradation the entire weekend will be geared towards going as fast as possible

      Promise? Pleeease!

      • Anthony (@lagerstars) said on 2nd December 2013, 13:28

        +1
        This is racing afterall !

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 2nd December 2013, 13:44

        @ironcito Assuming you want a great battle for the lead, the what is the point in putting the fastest car first on the grid and watching it disappear over the horizon? Cars that manage the tyres well almost certainly won’t be on pole, unless you have an RB9, and so many of the great races of recent years have featured cars that qualified lower down finding race pace and challenging for the lead.

        • Diego (@ironcito) said on 2nd December 2013, 14:54

          @william-brierty There have been periods in F1 when tires weren’t an issue -or at least they were a relatively minor consideration- and there was still good racing on the track. There’s not always a car that is absolutely fastest in every way. Different circuits suit different cars and different drivers, some cars are great when qualifying on an empty tank but not so great on a race trim, there may be different strategies, and so on. I can understand tires being a part of the picture, but not the overwhelming factor with drivers being asked to slow to a crawl to preserve tires.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 2nd December 2013, 15:36

            @ironcito – I understand all that, but I applying my theory to 2014, where one car, probably with a superior powertrain, will be comfortably faster than the others; maybe 0.5 seconds clear of the field. However that car, with its high energy powertrain and aerodynamic efficiency should theoretically not be able to maintain its pace throughout the race if the 2014 Pirellis were anything like previous Pirellis. That would be make for truly fascinating races, where one chassis would emerge as strong in the race, whilst another would dominate the qualifying sessions.

          • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 2nd December 2013, 16:04

            @william-brierty you don’t know for sure if there’s going to be any car 0.5 seconds clear of the field. 2014 already brings so many new variables as it is, tires should be left to play a supporting role in the background. The idea that F1 can’t be entertaining unless the tires degrade is quite absurd.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 2nd December 2013, 17:09

            @andrewf1 – Well, we do know that it’ll almost certainly be an engine formula for the first few races next year. So the “flagship” team that plays host to that engine, whether it be Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull, will have a notable advantage. Whilst tyre degradation is not a guarantee of entertainment, it is a variable, and the idea that F1 can be entertaining without variables certainly is quite absurd.

          • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 2nd December 2013, 17:56

            @william-brierty
            “2014 already brings so many new variables as it is” was my quote. I’m not quite sure how you’ve turned that into “the idea that F1 can be entertaining without variables certainly is quite absurd” – i never said such a thing. I said artificially degrading tires are redundant in a year in which everything changes. Yes, it’ll be an engine formula, but that’s not to be confused with a simplified formula. The power unit energy flow as depicted in the rules is highly complex. That, together with reliability issues will provide enough uncertainty. I’d much rather see teams developing their cars to exploit the new power trains instead of degrading tires.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 2nd December 2013, 19:50

          @william-briety, surely if you have been watching F1 during this Pirelli era you should be aware that the lead driver does exactly what you dont want because the tyres of the following car degrade much faster if it remains close enough to be in DRS range.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 3rd December 2013, 12:21

            @hohum – Yes, but I’m assuming the car behind has better race pace because it qualified a bit lower down, and therefore doesn’t overheat it tyres, a bit like the Lotuses and Ferraris of recent years.

  4. Tango (@tango) said on 2nd December 2013, 12:49

    I thought the current mandatory pit stop was dumb already. Not going to support a second one !

  5. LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge) said on 2nd December 2013, 12:49

    No mandatory pitstops! Not even one mandatory pitstop! Change tyres at will.
    Don’t even thik about refuelling!

  6. Lotus49 (@lotus49) said on 2nd December 2013, 12:53

    89.4 percent of F1 fans do not want to see this happen. This sort of guarantees that FIA will introduce it, after all when have the F1 high ups ever give a (expletive deleted) what the paying public wants.

  7. If the tyres turn out to be durable as expected i imagine 1 stoppers will be the norm and there won’t be much variation on strategy to mix up the field. But having 2 mandatory stops means even less (maybe zero) variation on strategy and tyre deg being no issue at all, so you will never see cars desperately trying to hold on against faster cars when they’ve pushed the tyres further than they could go. Races would be very predictable so i don’t see why they would do this (unless they want to guarantee no wear related failures).

    If anything, go the other way and say no mandatory stops (don’t have to use both compounds) and can start on a fresh set of either. Then maybe the variation will be between a 1 stop and a 0 stop, or 1 stop with different compounds used. I’m guessing this won’t happen on safety grounds if nothing else though.

  8. Kenny Ryekonen said on 2nd December 2013, 13:28

    Dear Santa
    Please ask F1 to bring back refuelling. let teams decide strategies. let them pick from any of the tyre compounds but have the same tyre allocation totals. Pirelli, please make sure the different compounds have the appropriate positive and negative points (decrease laptime vs performance fall off) as you move up the range.
    Let the drivers race
    PS. i’ve been extra good this year, so please have them take away DRS as well.
    kenny

  9. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 2nd December 2013, 13:31

    Fans strongly oppose 2014 mandatory pit stops plan. This will probably increase the likelihood of them implementing a mandatory pitstop plan in 2014.

  10. ElBasque, Adrian Newey says otherwise, and so does Mercedes so forget about it.

  11. Florin G (@floring) said on 2nd December 2013, 13:56

    I just want to see the tyre issue out of the question again and I don’t care if we have to sacrifice strategies for it to happen. I mean what are we losing, really? The suspense of not knowing if a driver will be able to go to the end with one change of tyres. But he’s gonna be cruising to the finish anyway, worried that his tyres will fail him. Is that really exciting?
    Think about the Hakkinen -Schumacher years, for instance. Remember the fact that every now and then the drivers in the lead would make mistakes? Shumacher would have a 10 – 15 second lead towards the end and then suddenly you see him spinning around or Hakkinen would be landing on the gravel and throwing his steering wheel in anger and so on. Now why was that? Because they were constantly on the edge, they couldn’t afford to relax, even with a decent gap in their favor. So even the lead drivers were forced to make mistakes. Nowadays mistakes happen mostly on the mid field or back field. The leaders are cruising to the checkered flag and are striving to be as gentle on the rubber as they can. They know the guys following have the same issues, so why force it? The worst thing that could happen is if they block the wheels going into a turn. Period. Now I want real drama on track, not worries about a flat spot on the tyres.
    Strategies are a small price to pay to get that back, this is my take on it.

  12. Maciek (@maciek) said on 2nd December 2013, 14:21

    F1 might aspire to be the pinnacle of motorsport, but it sure ain’t the pinnacle of forward thinking. You would think that with all that sheer mass of overpaid brainpower someone in there would pipe up and say: hey let’s stop trying to fix things by tacking on stop-gap solutions and look at root causes. You would think that. But no. Seriously, if they applied this kind of problem solving to the cars, they’d be held together with duct tape and string.

    • Steven (@steevkay) said on 2nd December 2013, 15:58

      Hah! This! Some of the most brilliant minds in motorsport have come together to create a complete cluster****.

      On this note, I feel like so many of the “solutions” (i.e. tyre degradation, DRS, mandatory use of 2 tyre compounds, etc.) should be lifted until we see what the 2014 engine/aero regulations bring. I just wish teams could come together and agree on a proper fix (i.e. simplified aero to tackle a root cause of turbulent air) for the formula.

  13. Andy (@turbof1) said on 2nd December 2013, 14:31

    I think a mandatory 2 stop would be an advantage actually. Let’s take a look at what changes relevantly next year:
    -Harder to control cars with lots of torque
    -Lost of downforce, meaning less loss and dependency of that in the corners, meaning cars can follow eachother closer.
    -Conservative tyres which means drivers can push harder again.
    -It’s not a big step. Although not explicitly written down, teams already have one mandatory pit stop due being obliged to run both compounds.

    A 2 stopper combined with better lasting tyres could mean drivers can push much harder, perhaps even to the extend they don’t have to worry about tyre management. Adding to that, the lost of downforce puts much more emphasis on mechanical grip, so the tyres. A lot more action is guaranteed on track due to that.

    It also isn’t artificial: it applies to everybody at the same time.

    Personally, I am taking issue with other elements:
    -Next year DRS will be having a bigger effect and most importantly, still exists. Close battles will be ruined once you enter the DRS zones. Nothing worse then 2 drivers fighting it out corner after corner only to end up on the straight with the one behind somersaulting past the one front, giving you a fine example of what an anti-climax is. More over, drivers will possess over a tool that could by all means have been used as a non-artificial substitute for DRS: the mgu-k. One driver being stuck behind the other could use less of it to spare up the energy, until he has enough to release the double of the normal amount during a lap.
    -The fuel load looks worrying. Cars considerably slowing down and having no choice to let other by due low fuel loads isn’t exactly appealing.

    • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 2nd December 2013, 16:11

      It also isn’t artificial: it applies to everybody at the same time.

      You may be confusing the word ‘artificial’ with ‘iniquitous’ or ‘unequal’. When people say it is artificial they mean that if the pit stop is not required by tyre degradation, but only required because it is a mandatory rule imposed on competitors by the FIA, then it is artificial.

      • Andy (@turbof1) said on 2nd December 2013, 17:02

        I am using it wrong yes, but deliberately. Arguable almost every rule is in strict sense artificial. Since DRS came, people suddenly made it a trend to call it, and (mostly) only it, artificial. Along the years the lines between “artificial” and “unequal” somehow got blurred in F1.

        2 stop mandatory isn’t more artificial then let’s say exhaust regulations. Trying to get cars less sensitive to dirty airflow also is artificial, but that doesn’t mean it is something bad.

        • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 2nd December 2013, 18:35

          Ah, I understand.
          Yes, okay all rules are artificial limits on possible performance in that sense. But unless we have some kind of imposed limits, we will have racing that it is unsafe to be within three or four hundred metres of because the cars are so fast and dangerous. Don’t think any of us want that.

  14. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 2nd December 2013, 15:04

    Well the results of this poll says it all I guess…

  15. Old Lightnin (@lightnin-hopkins) said on 2nd December 2013, 16:13

    Is it just me, or has F1 just keep getting worse and worse over the years?

    • danclapp (@danclapp) said on 3rd December 2013, 13:41

      Please give me 2007 all over agin, the Ham Alo fight best ever for me a rookie v 2XWC can it get any better, hope Ham goes like Alo as in maybe the Alo of 2010-2013, what i mean is im hoping when Ham is 29-34 i hope he capatalises, you only have to look at his pole and wins and how high up he is you look all around and everyone else is multiple champions apart from Kimi. For me i would have liked this to have happend, 2003 Kimi, 2004 MSC, 2005 Kimi, 2006 Alo, 2007 Ham, 2008 Ham, 2009 JB, 2010 Alo, 2011 Vet, 2012 Alo, 2013 Vet. You could arguably swap Massa for Ham in 08 and that would have been great but Ham is defo a Multi WC drivers so is/was Kimi.

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