Should F1 use standing starts for restarts?

Debates and polls

Start, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Formula One is planning to change how races are restarted next year.

From 2015 standing starts will be used instead of rolling restarts following Safety Car periods, according to multiple reports.

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 say

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.

You say

Do you want to see standing starts after Safety Car periods in F1?

Will having standing starts instead of rolling restarts improve F1 races?

  • Strongly agree (7%)
  • Slightly agree (13%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (12%)
  • Slightly disagree (12%)
  • Strongly disagree (55%)
  • No opinion (2%)

Total Voters: 591

Loading ... Loading ...

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here. When this poll is closed the result will be displayed in stead of the voting form.

Debates and polls

Browse all debates and polls

Advert | Go Ad-free


170 comments on Should F1 use standing starts for restarts?

  1. Valhyre (@ausuma) said on 20th June 2014, 10:32

    Double wide restarts instead of standing starts, that would be better.

  2. NinjaBadger (@ninjabadger) said on 20th June 2014, 10:35

    I feel such a move would take away the flow of the race.
    Granted, a safety car already impedes the flow to some extent, but a full-on stop seems it would be somewhat obstructive.

    Wouldn’t doing something like this negate the need of the safety car?
    You may as well give a red flag, stop the cars, then wait until the track is cleared.

    I’d be curious to see what sort of rules are implemented to work along side this.
    For example, if teams can’t change tyres, then stratigies could take a major hit, if you’re competing with a car(s) with much fresher tyres at a standing start.

  3. Call me cynical (and you’d be correct), but I’m guessing this rule will lead to race control bringing out the safety car at every possible moment.

    If there’s any indication that a race will be a whitewash or walkover from one or two cars, or the race is processional in any way (both of which are highly likely) when it’ll only take the smallest thing… a marble of rubber flying off a tyre, a pigeon on the track, a spectator to sneeze… and whoosh. Quicker than you can say “full course caution” the safety car will be out and the race will start from square one.

    This way race control and the FIA and FOM have a nice shiny reset button for any time they feel the show is not exciting enough.

    Which will be always.

  4. Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 20th June 2014, 10:39

    Hell to the no! F1 and its officials seem to be desperate to make changes just for the sake of change and it is agonizing to watch that no idea is thought through well enough. F1 at the moment seems like Apple in the early-mid 90s. What it needs now is some visionary that understands the problems of F1, that knows what the fans want, that can embrace social media/web in general and most importantly that has the power to change F1 for the good (strategy group was a fail since its creation). Someone like Bernie Ecclestone, but much much younger. F1 at its current state is lacking all of that. To quote Gil Amelio (last Apple CEO before the return of Steve Jobs), F1 is “like a ship with a leak at the bottom” and its officials are “the captain that has to make sure the ship is pointing in the right direction”. And it saddens me deeply to say that.

  5. hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 20th June 2014, 10:40


    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.”

    The Safety Car format is designed so that the positions are defended in the first place, so why screwing that up? Why should be every single moment be something of a super-duper action? The stupidity of this idea is up there with double points…

  6. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 20th June 2014, 10:43

    I’m not sure I like or dislike the idea. However, I do remember that they started using SC a lot more after 1st lap collisions, because it was considered too dangerous to restart the race from a standing start. So for me its a case of, short term memories.

  7. Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 20th June 2014, 10:45

    This is a rubbish idea. The rolling restarts are fine.

    My main complaint is that it is massively unfair to the leading driver. If a driver has fairly and squarely fought for and gained first and with one or two laps to go only to loose because of having to do a standing start. That’s not fair. When you see a driver build themselves a good lead, then to have it basically stripped from them for a rolling start, that’s harsh enough, but a standing start?
    At-least a rolling start allows the lead driver to maintain some advantage on the restart considering often they have had their hard fought gap stripped of them in the first place. How would Bahrain have ended this year? Would Rosberg have deserved to win just because he was on better tyres for the restart? It would have been much harder for Hamilton to defend as he did. I bet the end would have been a lot less exciting.

  8. Jimbo (@jimbo) said on 20th June 2014, 10:46

    Most drivers gain an advantage from the safety car through the field bunching up, giving more of an advantage through the lottery of a standing restart is ridiculous. The purpose of the safety car is to maximise the safety of an incident being dealt with whilst minimising the disruption to the current standings in the race, not to maximise overtaking.

    And what is the most dangerous part of a race where most drivers have a chance of being taken out? The start. So they are increasing the danger!

  9. Scottie (@scottie) said on 20th June 2014, 10:48

    Standing starts may cause a huge shambles on their own as if a car stalls, it’ll be mayhem!

    If they’re to do anything with this, it’s to perhaps take a leaf out of Indycar, and do double-file restarts where the leader chooses which side of the track they start on as they round the final turns.

  10. ahw3ll (@ahw3ll) said on 20th June 2014, 10:48

    Another scheme designed to provide artificial “excitement”. Takes away one of the interesting aspects of a safety car period, while leaving in the ridiculous parts like lapped cars needing to unlap themselves before everyone can go racing again.

    I assume that when the big crisis meeting took place this week and the question “What can we do to improve Formula 1?” was asked, “Listen to the fans” wasn’t a popular response.

    Of course, I could be pleasantly surprised and find it genuinely adds to the race, but I’m not holding out much hope.

  11. Mustard said on 20th June 2014, 10:49

    Plain and simple it won’t pass

  12. StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 20th June 2014, 10:49

    No they should leave things as they are.

    Standing starts after a SC is just another artificial element brought in & there are already far oo many artificial elements been introduced to ‘spice up the show’ for my liking.

    Plus as they say in America cautions breed cautions, A standing start Mid-race will surely see drivers more desperate to make up places which could lead to more 1st turn accidents & therefore more safety cars/standing starts.

    With regards to double file restarts, Indycar tried that & it just led to more cautions as everyone went a bit mad trying to make up several spots in the 1st few corners every time which again just lef to more cautions.

  13. ChrisJ (@chriju0411) said on 20th June 2014, 10:49

    So, since fans seem to really dislike this idea we can safely assume it’ll be introduced!

    When did safety car periods become a show element rather then a necessity to ensure the safety of track personnel and drivers anyway?

  14. matt90 (@matt90) said on 20th June 2014, 10:52

    “Standing starts offer a greater chance that some drivers will change places when the race gets going again”

    I don’t consider that a ‘for’ argument at all. Standing starts can be completely random, very easy to mess up or- more importantly- be messed up for you by other drivers. I don’t need to see a lottery mid-race to keep my attention. A rolling start fairly spreads the field out a certain amount while giving the drivers closest to one another a sniff at passing- that is enough.

  15. David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 20th June 2014, 10:53

    Only if everybody on earth moves to Free-as-in-freedom software and removed the power of whoever intentionally put backdoors in our computers’ software and hradware and/or every people that made software mostly non-free.

    Or if the Super Bonus Double Points Season Finale Bonanza, DRS, and fully tarmac run-offs are removed (in the case of run-offs put astroturf between the tarmac of the track and that of the run-off.

    Which is to say: No, nee, nej, nein, no.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.