Start, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014

Should F1 use standing starts for restarts?

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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170 comments on “Should F1 use standing starts for restarts?”

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  1. I like this plan. It certainly will make the cars closer on restarts, which is something I would like to see. But, as Keith pointed out, why not just red flag it? That makes a lot more sense, and that way we waste no time behind the safety car.

  2. Stopping the cars from running makes very good sense from a safety standpoint (for marshals + avoiding punctures etc), but keeping them running during the clean up period + shuffling backmarkers and THEN stopping sounds like an april fools joke to be honest. It’s hard to believe the pinnacle of motorsport came up with this idea.

    The standing start itself is not a good idea as it increases the risk of accident and gives even more advantage to the following cars than the massive amount they already got in closing the gaps.

    Backmarkers should NOT be allowed to unlap themselves, it’s artificial and unfair.

  3. Utter, utter nonsense. We’ll lose time circulating behind the safety car and then lose time having a standing restart. If the FIA want standing restarts they should do away with the safety car altogether and just red flag the race whenever a major incident happens.

    Another example of the FIA trying to fix problems that didn’t exist to begin with.

  4. My view is pretty much what Keith said in the article.

    I wouldn’t want to see it, but they could come up with far worse things like double points or something stupid like that.

  5. Since this idea is simply for entertainment purposes, why not reverse the field while they’re at it.

  6. This is just another rule to try and catch out the leader. I don’t think its fair to further penalise someone for leading the race prior to the incident and standing starts usually give the driver in front the best opportunity to keep the lead. Standing starts will take too long and is more likely to cause another incident into the first corner causing another restart and this repeats over so I can see a huge flaw in this.

  7. I want to see a red flag and drivers getting in the T-car when something happens on lap 1.

    If I can’t get that, I’d take standing starts over flying start after the SC happily.

  8. johnny stick
    20th June 2014, 21:35

    I think F1 needs to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. Does it want to be a spec series where the cars are pretty even and the best driver wins? Or does it want to be the premier motor sport where the best technology, ideas and performance wins?

  9. This is just wrong. I’m dead set against it, but not simply because it’s more tinsel in place of real solutions. I dislike it because it’s offering drivers a chance to unjustly gain or lose positions because of another driver’s mistake. Imagine if a driver is doing an incredible job all race long but loses his lead at the restart. There’s also the issue of clutch wear, transmission strain, and heat which could see retirements from the race as a result of multiple standing starts.

    Standing restarts are a bad idea because they can completely ruin the races of those who have done nothing wrong, and we get enough of that from normal safety cars as it is. In the event of an accident, it should either be a safety car or a red flag with a rolling restart. Positions should not be readily gambled upon for the sake of “the show”.

  10. really abolishing lapped cars unlapping themselves would help, let them slide back to their track position

    1. They won’t have the fuel and wear that reflects their position in the timings.

  11. What happens if the accident that brought out the SC was on the grid? Now one or more cars potentially have to do a standing start on oil and cement dust.

  12. I think so, I would like it.

  13. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    20th June 2014, 23:55

    I think they need to sort out the rule where, after a safety car the backmarkers have to drive through and lap the rest of the field to rejoin the back, and not alternatively hang back and let the field pass them. That’s the lap rinser

  14. Not a fan of the idea, even less of a fan of continuing down the path of solutions to problems that shouldn’t have any priority right now.

  15. Peter Rippon
    21st June 2014, 1:37

    It going to be time consuming and dangerous due to brake & tyre cooling. Why not just introduce side by side rolling restart, there would be a chance to overtake & not so much of the games in holding back etc, it would be no more dangerous than the present starts!maybe mandatory for Maldonado to start last row!

  16. Great idea. In addition I think they should replace the main F! protagonists with the muppets. Kermit the frog takes over from Bernie, Gonzo replaces LDM and the Swedish Chef takes over from Jean Todt. F1 after all is in the entertainment business and the fact that it used to be a sport, loved as a sport and run as a sport is totally irrelevant.

  17. I clicked “Slightly Disagree” in error. I feel like I just voted for Maldonado for DOTW at this year’s Monaco…

    Here’s an idea… Since (I forget who) duly pointed out that some drivers will pass through a Slow Zone more than others, why not try something a little more centralized and direct? The technology is there to have a remote control slowing for the entire field. Just have Charlie hit the button and everyone slows down to pit limiter speeds. Yes, there’ll need to be an adjustment to allow for safe deceleration, but slowing distance would be the only difference of distance. Wouldn’t this be the ultimate compromise? Management gets the gimmick, and the fans at least have some semblance of integrity left in the sport.

  18. Completely defeats the entire point of the safety car. I do think standing starts after red flags would be good though.

    Also, in my view, get rid of the safety car. That itself is rather artificial, as there is no need for one. A system could be made where drivers have to do laps under a certain time, and go through a specific zone at a maximum speed.

  19. Interesting comment by Graeme Lowdon today when he was interviewed in Ted’s Qualifying Notebook. He said that “It’s not a compulsory thing. Ultimately, it’s down to the race director. It gives an option to the race director and gives them the opportunity to do the right thing for the conditions at the time. Based on that it’s probably a good thing.”
    My fear is that it opens another can of worms i.e. under what conditions will the restart be a standing restart and under what conditions will the restart be a rolling restart?

  20. FIA always came out with new ideas (some very dumb, some adecuated) but with this one, I think it would cause more accidents than exciting chages of positions. I would prefer the old Ecclestone idea to bring artifical rain in the tracks, specially in Baharin or Abu Dhabi

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