Start, Melbourne, 2014

Teams ‘very enthusiastic’ about standing restarts

2014 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Start, Melbourne, 2014The plan to introduce standing restarts next year was strongly supported by teams, according to FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

The controversial rules change for 2015 has been criticised by drivers and won very little support from fans since it was announced.

However Whiting said the idea was very popular when it was raised by team representatives.

“What must be remembered is that this was a suggestion from a team,” said Whiting in an FIA briefing. “I put it to the other teams and they all agreed that it was a very good idea. In fact, I’ve rarely seen such enthusiasm for a new idea.”

“The idea is based on the rationale that the start is the most exciting part of the race in the view of most people and if you can have another one it would also be extremely exciting. This idea was embraced by all the teams at team manager level.

It was then discussed by the Formula One Strategy Group, which unanimously felt it was a very good way to go to improve the spectacle of Formula One. It then went to the Formula One Commission and finally to the World Council. They also felt it was a good thing for Formula One. The teams were 100 per cent behind it.”

Whiting believes the complaints put forward by drivers can be addressed. “I have heard some drivers express concerns but I think we can allay those fears,” he said.

“Their first concern was in regard to fairness. They felt that a race leader was more likely to lose his lead from a standing start than he is from a rolling start. Equally, however, if you are in second place you might actually like the idea of being able to take the lead, which you probably wouldn’t do with a rolling start.

“There was also some concern about taking a standing start on worn tyres. However, until you get to the point where there is a standing start, the safety car procedure will be exactly the same as before. As happens now any driver on worn tyres is likely to pit. If you’ve just made a pit stop then you probably wouldn’t do it, but anyone else will, as they will want to take the advantage of what is effectively a free stop.

“I think the chances of any driver resuming the race from a standing start on very badly worn tyres is very low. Those are the only concerns I’ve heard so far.”

Whiting discounted the suggestion that, if a race is going to be resumed from a standing start anyway, it would be unnecessary to have the Safety Car.

“I think the Safety Car has worked extremely well in a number of circumstances and I think if you stop the race every time you were going to put the Safety Car out if would be a bit of a nuisance really.”

He also denied that increasing the number of standing starts would increase the risks drivers are exposed to.

“If you say that a second standing start is dangerous it presupposes that the first one is as well,” said Whiting.

“Of course, you are more likely, statistically, to have incidents during a standing start than at any other time in the race but no driver wants that to happen and no driver will cause that to happen. I don’t believe that there is any added risk, personally.”

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45 comments on “Teams ‘very enthusiastic’ about standing restarts”

  1. So it was a suggestion from “a” team….three guesses as to who the mystery team might be. Couldn’t possibly be that red team, could it?

    1. Why do you automatically think it´s the red team??? So anything wrong in F1, Blame Ferrari???? Geeez, the most love to hate… Try blaming the old nut that wants to drop Monza… he usually is to blame for dumb ideas like double points, etc.

      1. insert TEAM after the.

    2. Marussia? Nah, higher chances of Chilton ending their race.

    3. I also don’t think that Ferrari were to blame on this one. I believe they have a much bigger worries at the moment to think that restarts etc. would provide them with a chance of wining. I believe A team could be a Mercedes powered team that may have an opportunity to hold on to the lead for a couple of laps or maybe Red Bull. I also think that it can be just the usual PR as no names of particular teams were mentioned just a general one proposed others accepted. Regardless to say it is a stupid stupid rule and it seems like the old man tries to kill the sport and leave no legacy behind him.

  2. So even Whiting has lost his marbles. Good to know.

    1. Based on the fact that the only requirement for an idea to be considered is for it to be suggested by a team, I imagine at some point we’re going to have far more ludicrous ideas that this.
      I say this because clearly the FIA and the powers in charge are all delusional, without fail. Every single one of them needs a smack round the head.

      1. according to some sources, there’s a anonnymous team who suggestested standing starts in each lap, unless the team has some sort of animal prancing in his badge…

    2. From team’s perspective, this is an occasion to gain place easily … It’s not only the leader which could lose his lead but more importantly someone could jump off 5-6 places in 2 laps (in particular if they are on different strategy) and that’s something which would not normally happen with a restart.

    3. Hhaha, thanks mate, my thought exactly. Madness, absolute madness.

    4. Well, it looks like senility is setting in not only with Bernie. Here’s my understanding of what Charlie is saying here:

      1. “Their first concern was in regard to fairness. However, if you are in second place you might actually like the idea of it being unfair, so it all balances out. Concern addressed!”

      2. “There was some concern about taking a standing start on worn tyres. But don’t worry. Some cars will pit and some won’t, so it will be unfair only to some of them, like it always was. Also, the cars will circle around the track in a processional fashion just as long as they used to. Exciting!”

      3. “I didn’t hear any other concerns. Truth be told, walking around with my fingers in my ears and going ‘la la la’ is becoming a bit tiring, but other than that we should be fine.”

      4. “Of course, you are more likely to have incidents during a standing start, but incidents aren’t dangerous, are they? No, I don’t believe that there is any added risk, personally. After all personally I am not driving these cars.”

      5. “I think if you stop the race every time you were going to put the Safety Car out if would be a bit of a nuisance really, even though that’s exactly what we’re proposing here!”

      Its madness. I’m really trying to enjoy my last season as an F1 fan. From the next year I’m becoming a casual viewer and I’m certainly not paying to watch it anymore.

  3. I will see how it works,but it tends too much towards Indy car which bores me.Really am disappointed after rekindling my love of the sport over last 6 years I fear I will once again be bored with artificial results (which the double points also causes)

  4. “I think the Safety Car has worked extremely well in a number of circumstances and I think if you stop the race every time you were going to put the Safety Car out if would be a bit of a nuisance really.”

    Wait wait wait … if you do a second start, you ‘start’ the race, so the race was stopped before, no? “I think if you stop the race every time you were going to put the Safety Car out if would be a bit of a nuisance really.”

    1. I sat in shock at that piece of tautology as well.
      But I think what he might be suggesting is that they might not stop the race as often as the had sent the Safety Car out previously. I think so, anyway.
      So the current decision of sending out the SC in order to clear debris from the track might be replaced with local waved yellows perhaps, and not by a race stoppage.
      Whatever. It’s still a soppy idea.

      1. So, in order to not make the stupid rule overwhelming, they’ll put the marshals at risk…

        Righteo!

  5. Whiting believes the complaints put forward by drivers can be addressed. “I have heard some drivers express concerns but I think we can allay those fears,” he said.

    “Their first concern was in regard to fairness. They felt that a race leader was more likely to lose his lead from a standing start than he is from a rolling start. Equally, however, if you are in second place you might actually like the idea of being able to take the lead, which you probably wouldn’t do with a rolling start.

    And that makes it fair?

    1. It rather shows exactly what is unfair about the rule. And he never actually addresses the safety concerns involved, just ignores them.

    2. Pedro Andrade
      4th July 2014, 12:35

      My thoughts exactly, how the hell is this fair? Is it fair to give an opportunity to the second placed driver that he wouldn’t have had a backmarker not crashed his car?

  6. “What must be remembered is that this was a suggestion from a team

    So? How does that make it any better than what others suggest. A stupid idea everyone likes is still a stupid idea.

    The folly of having the teams (only the big/rich ones) make up the rules between them with Bernie and have the FIA just rubberstamp everything they agree on.

  7. “The idea is based on the rationale that the start is the most exciting part of the race in the view of most people”

    Most people being people who don’t really understand or care about F1. People like my mum and my wife who come in and watch the start and then wonder off once everything settles down. This is yet another rule which goes completly against what those of us who love competitive motorsport want.

    It’s no surprise the drivers are against it because they love F1 in the same way that fans do.

  8. I honestly don’t understand the dislike for this rule. I wonder if it would have met with such opposition if it had been worded as ‘in conditions where a safety car would previously been used, the race will be red flagged and the cars will form up on the grid for a standing restart once the track is clear, with the 2 hour time-limit still in force’, which is effectively the same thing. Or do any new rules now get an automatic knee-jerk ‘it’s ruining the sport even more’ reaction from hardcore fans, no matter if they are actually a fairly good idea?
    This rule is a way of spicing up the show that remains pretty faithful to the essence of the sport. It certainly shouldn’t be bracketed with the artificial DRS, the idiotic fake sparks or the absolute disgrace that is double points.

  9. “I think the chances of any driver resuming the race from a standing start on very badly worn tyres is very low. Those are the only concerns I’ve heard so far.”

    What a surprise eh?
    Off course a team is going to pit their driver on worn tyres if he has to do a standing start, otherwise he would lose a boatload of places.

  10. “There was also some concern about taking a standing start on worn tyres. However, until you get to the point where there is a standing start, the safety car procedure will be exactly the same as before. As happens now any driver on worn tyres is likely to pit. If you’ve just made a pit stop then you probably wouldn’t do it, but anyone else will, as they will want to take the advantage of what is effectively a free stop.

    “I think the chances of any driver resuming the race from a standing start on very badly worn tyres is very low. Those are the only concerns I’ve heard so far.”

    So they’re pretty much just throwing strategy out the window entirely. If the safety car comes out, you have to pit.

    “I think the Safety Car has worked extremely well in a number of circumstances and I think if you stop the race every time you were going to put the Safety Car out if would be a bit of a nuisance really.”

    I’d say that the whole elongated process of getting all the drivers to unlap themselves and then doing the whole restart procedure is a ‘bit of a nuisance really’.

    “Of course, you are more likely, statistically, to have incidents during a standing start than at any other time in the race but no driver wants that to happen and no driver will cause that to happen. I don’t believe that there is any added risk, personally.”

    So accidents are more likely but there’s no added risk. Makes sense. No driver wants that to happen? I don’t think any driver ever wants a crash to happen, that doesn’t mean it never happens. If we’re going to compromise safety for the sake of entertainment, why don’t we bring back gravel traps and racing in heavy rain? I think I speak for most F1 fans when I say I’d rather see that than standing starts.

    I used to massively respect Charlie but this is the most ludicrous argument I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I can get across how much I loathe the idea. Double points was bad enough, but at least that’s only going to spoil the end of the season. Standing restarts has the potential to ruin every single race. This has to be the worst rule change ever seen in our sport.

    1. Good Comment. And I am little surprised with the statement,

      This has to be the worst rule change ever seen in our sport.

      I expect something on the lines of,

      This has to be the worst rule change ever seen in FIA’s sport.

      or

      This has to be the worst rule change ever seen in Berni’s sport.

    2. If we’re going to compromise safety for the sake of entertainment, why don’t we bring back gravel traps and racing in heavy rain? I think I speak for most F1 fans when I say I’d rather see that than standing starts.

      @jackysteeg Yes, please!

  11. I just posted this in the round-up thread but will do again here with some additions:

    From article on standing starts, Charlie Whiting –

    “Fairness being a leader is more likely to lose his lead from a standing start than he is from a rolling start. Whether that’s true or not, I’m not quite sure. Equally, if you’re in second place you might actually like the idea if you are able to take the lead, which you probably wouldn’t do in a rolling start.”

    First of all, it is much more likely for the leader to lose the lead from a standing start than a rolling start. I don’t have the stats to hand but that is something that would be easy to prove statistically. And the final sentence completely contradicts his statement – he says the driver in second might like the idea because he has a chance to take the lead “which you probably wouldn’t do in a rolling start.”

    And also

    “I think the Safety Car has worked extremely well in a number of circumstances and I think if you stop the race every time you were going to put the Safety Car out if would be a bit of a nuisance really.”

    – Uhm, isn’t this exactly what is being proposed? They will be stopping the race each time the safety car comes out with the exception of within the first 2 laps (and last 5 was it?).

    If you’re going to try to justify a huge rule change at least get your arguments straight before talking to the press.

    1. – Uhm, isn’t this exactly what is being proposed? They will be stopping the race each time the safety car comes out with the exception of within the first 2 laps (and last 5 was it?).

      It’s even sillier than that. They’re going to trundle around behind the safety car while the track is cleared and the lapped cars un-lap themselves, then they’ll stop and line up on the grid (where half of the drivers will be mired in a sea of marbles, unless they also bring out a sweeping machine to clean the start/finish straight) and take the restart.

  12. Brett Riale
    4th July 2014, 11:11

    Why not just 50+ one lap races then if it is so exciting to have standing restarts? Let me go ask Bernie about it….

  13. I can see the reasoning behind this: standing starts can go wrong for those in front and someone can get an advantage. Rarely have we seen something similar from a running restart, where the lead driver slows down too much and suddenly goes full throttle giving opposition no time to react. This will prevent situations like the one Vettel was in in Hungary (in 2010 if I recall correctly).
    What teams don’t care about is that this is unjust to the leading driver, who, after losing all his advantage because of the Safety Car, now comes under a threat he can’t control, because the lights turn out simultaneously for everyone and if someone sits behind the whole race but gets a good start the win is his to keep.

    1. but gets a good start the win is his to keep

      Well, it’s his to keep until the next re-start.

  14. They are just MAD….!

  15. I don’t believe a word anyone connected with the FIA says, including Charlie. He is being wheeled out now because he is the last remaining official who has any credibility at all but it doesn’t wash with me. We have seen often enough in the past that, when Charlie’s masters tell him to jump, he jumps. This is just one more demonstration of the fact. “The teams were 100% behind it,” he says. Yeah, right. How often have we seen that claim coming from the FIA, only to find out later that it was a complete lie?

  16. Next season: the FIA figures out that crashes are the most exciting part of races, so there is a fanvote on Twitter who crashes on what lap.

  17. “I put it to the other teams and they all agreed that it was a very good idea.”
    And
    “As of next year, I don’t like the standing restarts. If I could, I’d take that out. We all pretty much disagreed as far as I am aware.”
    Means that there is either a massive disconnect between the drivers and the teams they drive for,
    Or
    Someone is fibbing.

  18. It’s telling that there’s no mention of any fan representation in his list of who has decided that this would be a great way to “improve the spectacle”.

  19. “I don’t believe that there is any added risk, personally.”

    Well, if there’s one standing restart, wouldn’t that statistically speaking be double the amount of start line risk? Especially considering that “you are more likely, statistically, to have incidents during a standing start than at any other time in the race”, famously said by Charlie Whiting one sentence ago.

    But then again im just an archaeologist, not the “FIA Safety Delegate”.

  20. Neil (@neilosjames)
    4th July 2014, 13:42

    Reading his replies, you’d have absolutely no idea that he’s one of the most respected, knowledgeable people in F1 today.

  21. What went wrong here…

  22. ah ok, lets see, so lets put this scenario into perspective.

    a driver has had a great strategy, gets a nice lead by pushing hard and team calculates that his lap times are sufficient to stay out and bring it home. Driver has worked hard for this.

    Now, huge crash happens (lead driver has nothing to do with) and the race is stopped, everyone lines up on the grid. The driver now just lost his x second lead to the entire field.

    Race starts again, lead driver has no grip cause of worn tires and is passed by 5-7 cars at the start, then finishes 10th if lucky from being mauled by the closed up field who gained an advantage and a second chance.

    yup, that sound fair!

    Singapore 2008 here we come…

  23. I really despair.

    I have, in the past, argued to get rid of the safety car. It would be better to have a whole-track slow-down, possibly enforced by limiters, for minor safety-car periods, or a red flag where the marshals really need time and space to clean up.

    This is the worst of both worlds. The boring safety car period, which is more dangerous for the marshals, followed by the cars reforming on the grid (after the lapped cars have unlapped themselves, IIRC), followed by a standing start. It robs us of racing, and is just another artificial crowd-pleaser.

    1. I agree 100%!
      24 le mans tried that this year and everyone agreed it worked great! since its such a feasible and sensible idea AND makes sense you can bet it wont find its way into F1.

    2. I don’t have any problem with the safety car. It makes sense for the safety of the track workers AND the drivers to slow everyone down when there is an accident. That much is proven. And as a fan of NASCAR as well, I see how a safety car can work and actually make the race more interesting and exciting (just as it did this weekend in Hungary). But if you’re going to restart a race, then why bother? In fact why bother with the race at all? Just have several shorter races each weekend. In fact, since the start is the most exciting part, don’t even bother with going around a full lap — just have everyone dash for the first corner and then grid up again and do that over and over. There you go! The most exciting F1 races EVER! How ridiculous…

  24. Maybe, just maybe, all of this is gonna lead to the drivers finally getting the cajones and standing up and saying they are gonna walk out/boycott a race like the old days.

  25. Just red flag every incident. Save wasted laps behind boring pace car which always stays out twice as long as needed.

  26. If I were to judge solely from his comments above, I’d have to say Charlie Whiting is an idiot and blind to several realities that anyone could see plain as the sun on a clear day.

    “The idea is based on the rationale that the start is the most exciting part of the race in the view of most people and if you can have another one it would also be extremely exciting. This idea was embraced by all the teams at team manager level.

    1. The rationale that the most exciting part of the race should simply be repeated as many times as feasible, and that would therefore increase the overall excitement of the race is very weak. There’s also only one finish to a race. Should we repeat the endings to particularly exciting races just to see if the result comes out any different? An exciting MOMENT does not make an exciting race. An exciting race is made up of many different factors — most of them happening when the cars are at racing speed, not standing still.

    “Their first concern was in regard to fairness. They felt that a race leader was more likely to lose his lead from a standing start than he is from a rolling start. Equally, however, if you are in second place you might actually like the idea of being able to take the lead, which you probably wouldn’t do with a rolling start.

    What? This doesn’t even make any sense. He seems to argue that a leader is no less likely to lose his lead from a standing start than he would in a rolling start, and in the very next sentence implies exactly the opposite — that it is in fact less likely for the second place car/driver to takeover the lead in the current rolling starts, and he WOULD therefore be given a significant boost in a standing restart.

    He also denied that increasing the number of standing starts would increase the risks drivers are exposed to.
    “If you say that a second standing start is dangerous it presupposes that the first one is as well,” said Whiting.
    “Of course, you are more likely, statistically, to have incidents during a standing start than at any other time in the race but no driver wants that to happen and no driver will cause that to happen. I don’t believe that there is any added risk, personally.”

    WHAT?!?!?!?!?! He’s talking like the Mad Hatter here! He believes that restarts would not introduce added risk. As support for his argument he says it presupposes the first start is dangerous as well. Well, guess what? IT IS!! It’s the most accident-prone part of the race! Perhaps he hasn’t looked beyond the last car lately to see what is directly behind the grid: the medical car!! It’s not there for nothing. I wonder if he saw the Indianapolis Grand Prix this year. The pole sitter stalled and got hit full-speed from behind. But, according to Charlie, it’s just a supposition that starts are dangerous. Then he admits that the likelihood of accidents would increase and simultaneously asserts that risk would not increase. Pretty magical accidents he must be imagining. Further he implies that because drivers don’t want accidents to happen at the standing start, they won’t cause any to happen. I suggest Charlie look up the meaning of the word accident. An accident generally doesn’t include intent. By that logic, we would never have any accidents at the start, and yet that’s where MOST happen. What a moronic argument.

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