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

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170 comments on Should F1 use standing starts for restarts?

  1. Garns (@) said on 20th June 2014, 14:28

    I was 9 years old when the F1 circus rolled in to my home town of Adelaide in 1985. When I asked my step-dad (RIP) what it was about he said “well they build the fastest cars they can, then get the best drivers in the world to race them to see who is the best”. WOW- what an awesome yet simple concept!!!

    The next year in 1986 I got to see, hear and smell that concept as a young and impressionable kid, I also got to see a black car and yellow helmet and was hooked for life!!

    I would like to see this standing re-start in the same place as DRS, fuel saving, bad tyres, double points, no tyre warmers, less down force, less speed……………. et al!!!

    I would love to see F1 be once again be the sport I first saw as a 9 year old- they make the fastest cars, get the fastest drivers in the world to drive them to see who is the best!! Simple……………… yet brilliant!!!!

  2. Sri Harsha (@harsha) said on 20th June 2014, 14:34

    For a change
    F1 out of FIA Organisation’s Control

  3. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 20th June 2014, 14:53

    If they want to tweak the restart rules, why not have double file rolling restarts?

    • davey said on 20th June 2014, 17:07

      Because double file restarts would just create more of a mess.

      Indycar trialed double file restarts for 2 years & it nearly always created another safety car period & thats why Indycar have now dropped them & gone back to single file restarts.

      Indycar are even moving towards standing race starts because over the years the double file rolling starts have caused a lot of problems at the 1st corners as there are arriving at the 1st turn faster.

  4. Yoshisune (@yobo01) said on 20th June 2014, 14:54

    Strongly disagree for a very simple reason: time.
    Honestly, when I watch a race I want to see racing. The SC periods are way too long already, because of the rule that lapped cars have to overtake the field and then catch up again. If whe have standing restarts we’re going to throw away even more time.

    If we want standing restarts just red flag the session, so that the marshals can clean the track without worrying about the cars.

  5. th13teen said on 20th June 2014, 15:10

    What is wrong with you people if you don’t like the idea?
    F1’s major spectacle is the start of a race…I think its a fantastic idea, it gives drivers opportunities the old system did not have. Its thrilling for spectators without the leader just bolting it leaving a 1.5 second gap by the time they cross the start/finish straight.
    Most importantly this is entertainment value…no one wants to see a snake of cars who cannot over take but are racing (but not until they cross the safety car line) Blah blah blah.

    I agree make a red flag session – re start the race…far more exciting…great for casual viewers…Opportunities.

    What is this issue about safety, are we that sad that we are thinking that Starts are dangerous…guys they have done this since F1 began, its never been a major problem bar a few incidents…but thats motorsport. Enjoy the restarts! F1 is a broadcaster first, then a sport! They are in as much danger as they are at any other time.

    I would maybe suggest if an incident is going to take just 2-3 laps to clear, restart in the current style, however if there has been a major incident, red flag the session and do a full standing start. Solves both problems, and it would lead to fantastic racing, and induces more wheel to wheel racing at least for the first lap after the restart.

    • Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 20th June 2014, 15:34

      This isn’t a game show, it’s a sport. The idea is that it is an exciting competition where the most deserving team and driver win but with stupid ideas like this it turns it into a lottery.

    • Andreas said on 20th June 2014, 18:04

      By that token, why not get rid of the boring racing altogether and just have the start? 10 standing starts, with the order you reach turn 2 in being the order you take the next start. Whoever’s first after start 10 gets the gold medal. Now that would be exciting, wouldn’t it?

      On a slightly more serious note, F1 is supposed to be a sport, not simply a show or a lottery. Sadly, the latter is the direction the sport seems to be heading, with DRS, comedy tyres, double points for the last race etc.

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 22nd June 2014, 12:04

      “far more exciting…great for casual viewers”
      The entire problem is due to it being artificial, and the non-casual racing fans don’t want something fake, and would rather have boring than fake racing.

      “Most importantly this is entertainment value”
      That’s the problem. F1 (in many people’s view (which I share)) shouldn’t be entertainment, it should be proper racing.

  6. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 20th June 2014, 15:16

    It would improve the show, but it makes the sport less fair …

  7. Totally against the idea, I propose a scenario:

    A driver leads 75% distance, Pastor bins it into someone again, safety car, standing start & driver loses 5 places off restart.
    How is that fair to the guy that has led the majority of the race?…

  8. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 20th June 2014, 15:54

    Too much potential chaos. If we think the sorting and restart is difficult now, just try this one time to see how bad this idea is. The spectacle would be interesting, but the ensuing chaos would turn out to be quite unfair.

    Too much stress and strain on power unit and cooling while waiting for each restart.

    There is something special about the standing start of an F1 race. Potential multiple standing restarts each race diminishes that. Let’s keep it the way it is and concentrate on the many other real issues that cry out for a fix.

  9. Ricardo Ferreira (@yes-master) said on 20th June 2014, 16:01

    Absurd: The name of the planet where these “F1 thinkers” live in.
    Stupidity: The name of the solar system of which the Planet Absurd is part of.
    Non-Sense: The name of their Galaxy.

  10. John H (@john-h) said on 20th June 2014, 16:18

    This will disrupt the whole flow of a race. What an absolute joke. If this is an option, then even two sprint races I would prefer. I can’t keep listening to this. 2014 is a great season…stop trying to ruin things again!!!

  11. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 20th June 2014, 16:30

    Le Mans has already proved that there really isn’t any need for a safety car any more as you can force the drivers to slow down in other ways.

    As regards this rule though – I think you’ve overlooked the safety element as undoubtedly it’ll be safer without cars driving around the circuit while someone or something is being fixed. Without the safety car rolling around we’ll also get more racing laps.

  12. rsp123 (@rsp123) said on 20th June 2014, 16:35

    “…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.”

    Spot on Keith. F1 could be about to fall into serious trouble, and the authorities are fiddling with silly details. No wonder so many manufacturers and sponsors are looking elsewhere to put their money. As they say in the world of psychiatry: “sometimes there has to be a breakdown before there can be a breakthrough.”

  13. Osama Shahid (@os-shahid1) said on 20th June 2014, 16:46

    Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. F1 is run by a bunch of idiots answering questions that nobody seems to ask.
    Instead of focusng on the things that matter they are bringing in rubbish like double-points and standing restarts.

  14. woogle said on 20th June 2014, 17:15

    In my opinion formula one has gave its self a self inflicted wound with all this rule changes ect. casual fans dont follow .it needs to heal that wound and maby admit,the got stuff wrong. its run by idiots . no matter.

  15. maxthecat said on 20th June 2014, 17:16

    Oh please NO! You’ve already took F1 to the brink and any more crackpot ideas like this will tip it over the edge. F1 has become Contrived, artificial and barely a sport any more :(

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