Teams ‘very enthusiastic’ about standing restarts

2014 F1 season

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.”

2014 F1 season


Browse all 2014 F1 season articles

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

Advert | Go Ad-free

45 comments on Teams ‘very enthusiastic’ about standing restarts

  1. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 4th July 2014, 12:52

    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.

  2. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 4th July 2014, 13:00

    “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.

  3. oweng (@oweng) said on 4th July 2014, 13:04

    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”.

  4. ElBasque (@elbasque) said on 4th July 2014, 13:15

    “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”.

  5. Neil (@neilosjames) said on 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.

  6. SatchelCharge (@satchelcharge) said on 4th July 2014, 14:00

    What went wrong here…

  7. MarkM (@mpmark) said on 4th July 2014, 14:30

    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…

  8. drmouse (@drmouse) said on 4th July 2014, 14:51

    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.

    • MarkM (@mpmark) said on 4th July 2014, 16:25

      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.

    • Daniel Akerman (@jeangirard) said on 30th July 2014, 3:46

      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…

  9. Ibrahim (@ibrahim) said on 4th July 2014, 17:04

    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.

  10. Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 5th July 2014, 10:22

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

  11. Daniel Akerman (@jeangirard) said on 30th July 2014, 3:39

    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.

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.