Here’s a question I posed to Keith last week and which was suggested to ask here, and then I forgot! So, here goes: what should count as an F1 start, and what should count as a GP entry? As many of us know, there is not an official definition of what counts as a start or entry for a GP. So, I give you some examples:
1. Starts. What counts as a start? Does a driver have to take the lights, or is lining up on the grid for the formation lap enough? Did the 14 who withdrew from the United States GP in 2005 retire, or should they be recorded as DNFs? What about Schumacher at Magny Cours in 1996? His engine blew on the formation lap – mechanical problem. So did he retire, or did he fail to start? And what about the case of the 1994 British Grand Prix, where Brundle and Irvine lined up for the start, which was aborted, and then Irvine didn’t make it round the second formation lap, and Brundle’s engine blew up on the start line the second time around?
2. Entries. At what point have you entered a Grand Prix? Is it when you go out in qualifying? Is practice enough? Practice gets complicated when you add in Friday drivers… and what about if you go to the race, but never make it out of the garage? So, does Perez count as having entered the 2011 Monaco GP? What about the Canadian GP?
It would be interesting to see other people’s thoughts. And then maybe I’ll chip in mine! It’s an issue that always comes up when drivers celebrate their 150th Grand Prix or start, so I’d like to see what principles people work by (for those of you who care, the rest of you probably think this is really sad…)