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?

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  1. Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 20th June 2014, 23:15

    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.

  2. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 20th June 2014, 23:16

    I think so, I would like it.

  3. Paul (@frankjaeger) said on 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

  4. Nick (@npf1) said on 21st June 2014, 0:31

    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.

  5. Peter Rippon said on 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!

  6. Chris (@mccosmic) said on 21st June 2014, 4:56

    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.

  7. Sean Doyle (@spdoyle17) said on 21st June 2014, 9:17

    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.

  8. Strontium (@strontium) said on 21st June 2014, 10:05

    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.

  9. Dee said on 22nd June 2014, 0:23

    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?

  10. SuperIU said on 25th June 2014, 0:34

    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

  11. Dave said on 25th June 2014, 0:58

    For me and probably most F1 fans the start of the race is the most exciting part – the bit that I absolutely cannot afford to miss. To have a number of standing restarts in one race would I think devalue the best part of the race and make it less special. Even now 20 years after I first watched F1 I still get goosebumps and nervous with anticipation when those red lights come on one at a time and yes I still count out loud when each light comes on. Keep that part unique and don’t make it less special by doing over and over throughout the race. Please.

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