Is this the change F1 needs to inject more action into the show?
The reasoning for the change is simple to understand. F1’s single file rolling restarts tend not to lead to changes of position.
Standing starts offer a greater chance that some drivers will change places when the race gets going again, injecting more excitement into the races.
Organising a standing start is going to add yet more complexity to the restart procedure which already takes too long due to the rule requiring lapped drivers to pass the Safety Car. This will mean it takes even longer to get races going again.
There’s also the difficult of ensuring drivers line up in the correct grid position. On a normal standing start they are positioned in their starting spots beforehand, giving them the chance to familiarise themselves with where their need to stop at the end of the formation lap. Even then there are problems – three drivers line up in the wrong places at the start of the Monaco Grand Prix.
I’m basically indifferent to the plan, though it seems to me that if you’re going to go to the effort of stopping all the cars and doing a full start, why not go the whole hog and scrap the Safety Car altogether? Just red-flag the race and restart it later. That way no racing laps are wasted behind the Safety Car.
But what really grates about this scheme is that it seems another poorly considered gimmick which doesn’t address F1’s most serious problems.
F1 hasn’t had a full field of cars for almost 20 years, small teams are struggling financially following the introduction of expensive new engines and major manufacturers prefer the WEC. Meanwhile viewing figures are plummeting and the minimum weight rules have led to dangerously thin drivers.
The best response F1’s power brokers have to this is to impose standing starts after the Safety Car has come out. I don’t believe it’s going to make the tiniest bit of difference to F1’s real problems.
Do you want to see standing starts after Safety Car periods in F1?
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