Should F1 use standing starts for restarts?

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Formula 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?

  • No opinion (2%)
  • Strongly disagree (55%)
  • Slightly disagree (12%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (12%)
  • Slightly agree (13%)
  • Strongly agree (7%)

Total Voters: 591

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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170 comments on “Should F1 use standing starts for restarts?”

  1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    20th June 2014, 10:03

    Red flag would be better as you say if they are planning standing restarts. I don’t know why they are doing this as no-one has ever complained about this (much like with double points). It’s another case of F1 addressing the symptoms and avoiding the problems again.

    1. Completely agree. Having a standing start after a red flag seems sensible and an improvement but it seems a bit artificial to have one after every safety car period.

      Standing starts also mean a greater risk of accidents – which in turn makes it likely that the safety car will be deployed. We could end up with the farcical situation where you have 3 or 4 standing starts in a row if there are numerous standing start incidents.

      F1 – stop fixing what isn’t broken and, as Keith says, deal with the more serious issues.

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        20th June 2014, 10:30

        Haha that’s true, about 4 standing restarts in a row and 20 laps wasted behind the safety car would show them.
        The current situation is fine but if they need to improve anything then introduce slow zones as someone mentioned further down in the comments, now that would mean for more racing which is something people actually want.

    2. @collettdumbletonhall
      I’m curious as to what you consider to be the ‘real problems’.
      Could you kindly highlight all those, and your potential solutions.

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        20th June 2014, 10:53

        It’s basically what @KeithCollantine put on twitter yesterday (link added below). There’s more like gravel traps or tungsten to punish actual mistakes made by drivers and too many races being held in places that isn’t much of an interest.

      2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        20th June 2014, 10:55

        I know yesterday you were supporting the use of DRS but this is mainly down to engine disparity making passing difficult for cars with a slower top speed. Bigger rear tyres would make slipstreaming easier by increasing drag.

        1. @collettdumbletonhall
          That would definitely assist with overtaking.

    3. I like how Keith, in one minute, basically offered up a better solution (Red flag and restart, rather than SC and then restart) than the FIA could come up with and hold a meeting over! But I imagine they want to do the SC version to stop everyone changing their cars (tyres, wing etc.) like at Monaco, which ended the race as a spectacle.

    4. I am on the same boat with this idea @collettdumbletonhall. Either have a SC and not stop the cars, let them run. Or just stop the race after an accident, use the time to sort the back-markers without them having do do another lap and prepare a restart.

      Instead we have all the disadvantages of a SC including the Marshalls having a tougher job cleaning up, even letting backmarkers first unlap themselves, and having at least 10-15 laps (12-20% of the race!) and THEN stop the race anyway and lose another 5-10 minutes while everyone gets ready. If I imagine last race in Canada, or 2011 in Monaco or just about any Singapore race how many laps will they manage to actually RACE?
      Off course it can make for new start crashes etc, maybe that is the “excitement” they are looking for.

      1. As much as I disagree with the idea, everyone moaning about all the ‘gimmicks’ that are being introduced, only have themselves to blame, f1 fans never seem to be happy and always complain and that’s why the FIA are coming up with all these silly ideas in the first place

        1. Sorry @bascb, wasn’t meant for that to be a reply to your comment

        2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
          20th June 2014, 16:38

          While I agree that people do moan about f1 too much and have rose tinted glasses about the past (I’ve watched old F1 and it’s not much better than now if I am honest, worse in many respects) I do think that these gimmicks are the wrong answers to the problems.
          When I complained about the lack of overtaking in F1 before 2010 I never wanted a DRS style system or dodgy tyres. Less downforce and no refuelling would have sufficed.

          1. Yeah no I agree completely I just don’t know what people expect to happen, there’s only a few ways racing can be improved naturally, one of which I watch a different series like btcc for example. I bet people would complain about that lack of excitement again if they backtracked 4/years to pre DRS aero dominatted cars

          2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
            20th June 2014, 17:41

            Yeah that’s true. A lot of people expect every race to be mad with cars all over fighting for position but with the fastest cars starting at the front and the slowest at the back that doesn’t tend to happen, understandably. Every year you’re always going to get a few boring races like Malaysia 2014, Bahrain 2010 and Spa 2013 with no-one in any position to pass. So long as cars can race each other without gimmicks then I am happy. There’s no gimmick-less solution to spaced out races and I’d rather that was the case than undeserving winners due to double points, DRS, standing restarts or whatever comes next.

    5. I agree, mostly, a big 1st.lap crash should be red flagged and re-started rather than have the cars cruise around after the safety car for 5 to 8 laps, but mid race with some debris on the track that can be cleared in 2 laps it would be ridiculous.

      Why can’t the cars engage the pit-lane speed limiter wherever they are on the track instead of having a safety car ?

      1. That was I agree mostly with Daniel.

  2. Short answer: No.
    Long answer: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

    1. Michael Brown
      20th June 2014, 14:02

      Exactly my thoughts.

    2. Agreed: Simple and succinct. NO.

    3. @raceprouk Exactly. Honestly… why?

      They are DESPERATE to “improve the show” and we had one of the best races of the last few years in Canada and Bahrain…

    4. It’s just a waste of time, and will surely lead to penalties for incorrect starting positions which will be off-putting to fans, not an improvement. Above all, casual fans as far as my experience with such goes dislike the complexity of some of the rules, such that they can’t understand what is happening.

      The tyres are very bad for this, and I imagine this proposal won’t help.

  3. Dont fix when its not broke , FIX the racing please we need better rules that can allow natural competition than artificial competition with artificial Tires and gimmicks

  4. I strongly oppose this idea. The whole point of the safety car is to slow up the cars to create a safe environment for the marshalls to do thier job. That the cars are bunched up is only a side effect of the situation.

    I think there is no sporting reason that explains the need to have such a lottery at that point in the race.

    Of course it will make things exciting, but it also makes a mockery of the race.

    1. +1

      … and given how susceptible the cars are to heat-related issues, is it really fair or “exciting” to have the leaders queueing up on the grid, stationary for an extended period of time and then blowing their brakes, power units, etc.?

      There’s nothing wrong with the current safety-car system. Leave it alone.

    2. +1 …… plus, tyres cooling off, engines overheating — or are they going to put the pit crews out on the grid to restart the engines? There are ideas, bad ideas and plain stoooopid ideas.

    3. +1 Could very well lead to yet another incident upon restart.

  5. I’m against, for one simple reason.

    How long does it take to start a race, getting everybody lined up and going through the start procedures? It would take even longer to get back to racing if they had to line up on the grid, as opposed to just bunching up and going when the leader hits the accelerator. The safety car period is already an interruption on the race, and forcing everybody to grid up will kill the flow of the race. Can you imagine a race like Monaco with several safety car deployments, each one followed by everybody stopping on the grid?

    1. Well said.

  6. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
    20th June 2014, 10:10

    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.

    Mail that to the FIA.

  7. i’m not sure how i feel about this. i’ll say i neither agree or disagree. f1 has other problems it should adress first.

    1. COTD in my opinion . This is what the FIA do . They take a non issue and make it sound an issue and then have a cheap ‘fix it’ . There are other issues here . This doesn’t even need looking into .

  8. Since when should drivers be able to gain or lose positions just because an accident happened somewhere on the track ? I don’t think it’s particularly fair … Just imagine a scenario where the then-leader of the race loses places during the safety car period because of a bad pitstop, starts in the middle of the field and is sent off at the restart by some Venezuelan driver ? Is that what we want ?

    Safety car periods are certainly a problem ; at Le Mans they solved it with the introduction of the Slow Zones, which to me is the greatest idea ever … In Formula One they solve it with standing starts ?! Why even make the car run behind the Safety Car in the first place, if you’re to let them have a standing start ?

    And couldn’t they just have proper rolling start procedures that ensure the cars are not already 1 second apart when they cross the finish line, to start with ? Just like they’re done in almost every motorsport from go-karting to Indycar, in WEC or in Nascar ?!

    1. “Why even make the car run behind the Safety Car in the first place, if you’re to let them have a standing start?”

      Exactly. Safety Car should to be a way to limit the disruption during race when marshals are needed on track or there’s an obstruction. Slow zones, a la Le Mans, would minimise this disruption further.
      It makes no sporting or even logical sense to drive round for five or ten laps behind a Safety Car, then stop and do the whole start procedure and disrupt the flow of the race anyway.

  9. The format should stay like it is. Instead of bringing titanium-bottom plates, standing starts, DRS and other gimmicks, they should turn up those engines, introduce a driver minimum-weight and reduce turbulent air.

  10. Why not wait until the track is clear and ready to go – at the end of the lap let the cars form up on the grid in running order (how complicated can that be for these clever chaps?) once all stationery reds lights and go!

  11. As long as we have lots of artificial sparks shooting out from beneath the cars, and giant megaphone exhausts producing artificial sound, and DRS zones to create artificial passing, then who really cares anyway.

    1. Good one ! :)

  12. Double-file rolling restarts, anyone?

    Does away with the inconveniences of finding which grid position to line up and provides more position changes than a single-file restart.

    1. I loved double fille rolling restarts at Albert Park this year as it created excitement to the race instead of the boring leader dominating but good idea instead of standing restarts.

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      21st June 2014, 8:10

      They’ve done that with the V8 Supercars here in Australia and it’s been a complete disaster.

      1. @tophercheese21 – I disagree from my perspective as it has never been tried in Australian Motorsport till this year at Albert Park. Drivers liked it. They should do it again with longer race distance next year

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          21st June 2014, 10:55

          They did it at Adelaide and it was a complete disaster.

  13. Strongly disagree, this is just another stupid, fiddly rule change that adds complications when they need to be simplifying the racing. A sticking plaster on a broken leg if there ever was one.

  14. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    20th June 2014, 10:17

    Why not just have reverse grids while they are at it?
    Seriously, the longer they push forth these stupid ideas the more and more tempted I am to stop following. This is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport, not a damn game show!

    1. @collettdumbletonhall

      Why not just have reverse grids while they are at it?

      Shh! They’ll hear you…

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        20th June 2014, 10:26

        Haha, don’t worry, they do not listen to the fans anyway!

      2. Was wondering where I’d draw the line on continuing to watch F1 with all this utter rubbish in the last few years. I think reverse grids would be it. Or performance ballast.

        1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
          20th June 2014, 10:35

          That’s what really turns me off the BTCC.
          I’m on the edge right now and with WEC getting better all the time I am very tempted to just switch over to that completely. One or two more stupid rule changes and I am off. I definitely won’t be wasting my money on a sky subscription at the moment although I’d consider if they allowed for natural competition.
          The sooner they learn that we’ve had boring races every year no matter what the rules are the sooner they will realise that they need to stop with all of these ridiculous rule changes.

    2. @collettdumbletonhall Reverse grids as such are not the worst thing that could happen to F1. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want them but they at least would give teams like Force India a chance to win something unlike DRS, which helps the quicker cars get to the front or the double points rule, which also favours the rich teams that can afford to spend a lot of money on development during the season.

      In my opinion, the biggest problem with reversed grids would be the inevitable changes to the weekend format, such as dismissal of qualifying or degrading the value of a victory by having two or more races every weekend.

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        20th June 2014, 15:17

        It’s not deserved though is it. This rule helps the smaller teams and not the big teams by giving them a chance to catch up with the leading cars.
        I’m guessing the next rule will be similar to NASCAR, they’ll introduce the chase for the world championship or something unfair like that.

      2. In my opinion the biggest problem with reverse grids could be a team like Catussia getting top engines, designing no-downforce no-drag, straight-line rockets that start p1 and p2 then circulate side by side leaving no room for cars to pass around corners and out-dragging them down the straights. Far fetched ? not where hundreds of millions of $$$$$$$ are concerned.

  15. It seems to me that the F1 bosses are desperate trying to show us they’re working hard to ‘save’ the sport. But because they have no idea how to fix the things that really needs fixing (or cannot agree about the fix needed), they come up with solutions for things no-one has complained about. I think the rolling restarts are quite exciting, even if there’s not much overtaking. Just scrap the unneccesary rule requiring lapped drivers to pass the Safety Car.

  16. Double wide restarts instead of standing starts, that would be better.

  17. I feel such a move would take away the flow of the race.
    Granted, a safety car already impedes the flow to some extent, but a full-on stop seems it would be somewhat obstructive.

    Wouldn’t doing something like this negate the need of the safety car?
    You may as well give a red flag, stop the cars, then wait until the track is cleared.

    I’d be curious to see what sort of rules are implemented to work along side this.
    For example, if teams can’t change tyres, then stratigies could take a major hit, if you’re competing with a car(s) with much fresher tyres at a standing start.

  18. Call me cynical (and you’d be correct), but I’m guessing this rule will lead to race control bringing out the safety car at every possible moment.

    If there’s any indication that a race will be a whitewash or walkover from one or two cars, or the race is processional in any way (both of which are highly likely) when it’ll only take the smallest thing… a marble of rubber flying off a tyre, a pigeon on the track, a spectator to sneeze… and whoosh. Quicker than you can say “full course caution” the safety car will be out and the race will start from square one.

    This way race control and the FIA and FOM have a nice shiny reset button for any time they feel the show is not exciting enough.

    Which will be always.

    1. @ajokay Your genius idea is slightly ruined by the fact that if the FIA wanted to artifically bunch up the field, the current safety car format already does that. And I don’t see them abusing it.

      1. @ciaran Your genius retort then begs the question “if it bunched up the field anyway, why have they changed the rule to incorporate a standing start at all then?”

    2. @ajokay, your comment, to another cynic like me, sounds spot-on and I am pretty sure Nascar works exactly as you describe.

  19. Hell to the no! F1 and its officials seem to be desperate to make changes just for the sake of change and it is agonizing to watch that no idea is thought through well enough. F1 at the moment seems like Apple in the early-mid 90s. What it needs now is some visionary that understands the problems of F1, that knows what the fans want, that can embrace social media/web in general and most importantly that has the power to change F1 for the good (strategy group was a fail since its creation). Someone like Bernie Ecclestone, but much much younger. F1 at its current state is lacking all of that. To quote Gil Amelio (last Apple CEO before the return of Steve Jobs), F1 is “like a ship with a leak at the bottom” and its officials are “the captain that has to make sure the ship is pointing in the right direction”. And it saddens me deeply to say that.

  20. “For

    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.”

    The Safety Car format is designed so that the positions are defended in the first place, so why screwing that up? Why should be every single moment be something of a super-duper action? The stupidity of this idea is up there with double points…

  21. I’m not sure I like or dislike the idea. However, I do remember that they started using SC a lot more after 1st lap collisions, because it was considered too dangerous to restart the race from a standing start. So for me its a case of, short term memories.

    1. I’m guessing they’ll still start under the safety car if they see its too dangerous for a standing start. Such as bad weather conditions.

  22. This is a rubbish idea. The rolling restarts are fine.

    My main complaint is that it is massively unfair to the leading driver. If a driver has fairly and squarely fought for and gained first and with one or two laps to go only to loose because of having to do a standing start. That’s not fair. When you see a driver build themselves a good lead, then to have it basically stripped from them for a rolling start, that’s harsh enough, but a standing start?
    At-least a rolling start allows the lead driver to maintain some advantage on the restart considering often they have had their hard fought gap stripped of them in the first place. How would Bahrain have ended this year? Would Rosberg have deserved to win just because he was on better tyres for the restart? It would have been much harder for Hamilton to defend as he did. I bet the end would have been a lot less exciting.

  23. Most drivers gain an advantage from the safety car through the field bunching up, giving more of an advantage through the lottery of a standing restart is ridiculous. The purpose of the safety car is to maximise the safety of an incident being dealt with whilst minimising the disruption to the current standings in the race, not to maximise overtaking.

    And what is the most dangerous part of a race where most drivers have a chance of being taken out? The start. So they are increasing the danger!

    1. @jimbo, Hmm, you’re right, and just who, currently makes up the greatest number of places at the start.?

  24. Standing starts may cause a huge shambles on their own as if a car stalls, it’ll be mayhem!

    If they’re to do anything with this, it’s to perhaps take a leaf out of Indycar, and do double-file restarts where the leader chooses which side of the track they start on as they round the final turns.

    1. Indycar no longer do double file restarts because they usually caused more problems with contact through the restart lap.

  25. Another scheme designed to provide artificial “excitement”. Takes away one of the interesting aspects of a safety car period, while leaving in the ridiculous parts like lapped cars needing to unlap themselves before everyone can go racing again.

    I assume that when the big crisis meeting took place this week and the question “What can we do to improve Formula 1?” was asked, “Listen to the fans” wasn’t a popular response.

    Of course, I could be pleasantly surprised and find it genuinely adds to the race, but I’m not holding out much hope.

  26. Plain and simple it won’t pass

  27. No they should leave things as they are.

    Standing starts after a SC is just another artificial element brought in & there are already far oo many artificial elements been introduced to ‘spice up the show’ for my liking.

    Plus as they say in America cautions breed cautions, A standing start Mid-race will surely see drivers more desperate to make up places which could lead to more 1st turn accidents & therefore more safety cars/standing starts.

    With regards to double file restarts, Indycar tried that & it just led to more cautions as everyone went a bit mad trying to make up several spots in the 1st few corners every time which again just lef to more cautions.

    1. Imagine a re-start with only 2 laps to go, the only car to survive would be the winner.

  28. So, since fans seem to really dislike this idea we can safely assume it’ll be introduced!

    When did safety car periods become a show element rather then a necessity to ensure the safety of track personnel and drivers anyway?

  29. “Standing starts offer a greater chance that some drivers will change places when the race gets going again”

    I don’t consider that a ‘for’ argument at all. Standing starts can be completely random, very easy to mess up or- more importantly- be messed up for you by other drivers. I don’t need to see a lottery mid-race to keep my attention. A rolling start fairly spreads the field out a certain amount while giving the drivers closest to one another a sniff at passing- that is enough.

  30. Only if everybody on earth moves to Free-as-in-freedom software and removed the power of whoever intentionally put backdoors in our computers’ software and hradware and/or every people that made software mostly non-free.

    Or if the Super Bonus Double Points Season Finale Bonanza, DRS, and fully tarmac run-offs are removed (in the case of run-offs put astroturf between the tarmac of the track and that of the run-off.

    Which is to say: No, nee, nej, nein, no.

  31. “The reasoning for the change is simple to understand. F1′s single file rolling restarts tend not to lead to changes of position.” Well, they’re not supposed to. The safety car is there to avoid having to red flag the race, if the racing can’t be continued safely. Once the safety car situation is no longer present, racing should resume as before. If the F1 folks think anything different, they’re properly misguided. And as has already been pointed out, having standing restarts will inevitably lead to further first-corner pile-ups (and further restarts). It would be a good way for Ferrari to get to the front, though – by their competitors further up the grid repeatedly taking each other out in multiple starts…

    Honestly, this year I’ve followed F1 more closely than in quite a few years. This far, I’ve even seen all practice sessions… First it was due to curiosity over the new power unit technology, and then it was because of the (at least to me) more exciting racing. But the artificial stuff is starting to get to me, so I can’t say how long the interest will last. And if I lose interest, it will not be because “the show” isn’t exciting enough, it will be because of the daft attempts to improve the same. The implication that I would need sparks, exhaust trumpets, standing restarts and other gimmicks to not lose interest is simply condescending to me as a racing fan. And when I’m treated that way (by anyone), I tend to walk.

    Standing restarts, trumpets, fake sparks (i.e. not simply a side-effect of cars bottoming out, but titanium bolts intentionally placed to create sparks, without any apparent reason) – what’s next? Cardboard pieces attached to the wheel spokes? After all, it’s the noise we’re after, isn’t it? Pfft.

    1. Andreas we are like 2 peas in a pod regarding F1, hope your post gets COTD.

  32. I think that a rolling double file restart would be epic; like the starts in direct drive karting

    1. I agree.

      Some above noted it may lead to more incidents – ‘cautions breed cautions’ – like it did in IndyCar, and while I think it’s a valid argument, I think standing start would be just as bad.

      The thing why I want a double-file rolling restart is that it does not have the inconvenience of having to conduct an all-too-sudden line-up procedure, which is common in the case of a standing start, while providing nearly as much position change.

      If we want to spice up the show, than I think that’s the way to go.

      If we want to leave it pure, not artificial, then leave it as it is currently.

  33. 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.

    Ah, yes!

    1. I agree. With the new proposal lapped cars need to unlap themselves and need to get into formation and all this while the leaders will be sitting on the grid tires cooling and brakes smoking away! However this is mitigated it will result in more laps being lost behind the safety car.

  34. F1 is giving Brian France a run for his money in turning off established fans. Just look at basically any recent Nascar race and see the grandstands that were once packed now struggling to reach 50%. I don’t want to see sparks or have louder engines or drs or refueling or any other gimmick. I want to see a race where the best car or driver wins. I have watched many seasons of domination by one driver or team or another and that was fine. I still watched all the races. Now with all these gimmicks and gelded drivers I really find it easy to do something else on Sunday. I missed the last 7 races last year without really missing F1 for the first time in 30 years. I am now really wondering what the last straw will be since I started being disappointed with F1 with the re-institution of refueling in ’94. I am sure the last straw has been proposed already and is just waiting to be instituted.

    1. @darryn, me too, especially “the best car or driver” bit, not the “1 of thirty identical cars” that gets the lucky breaks winning

  35. I don’t doubt standing starts will improve the show. We will see more overtakings, less predictabilty, and we might feel more excited at these starts.

    But I believe it won’t improve the racing. It’s just another stupid gimmick that tries to transform F1 in a TV-show. I don’t like this idea, because it ruins the spirit of racing. Having a SC is already a disatvantage for drivers who worked hard to build gaps. But having standing starts penalise them even more. Racing is about winning when you are the fastest driver who overcame adversity, and not about a driver who fights with gimmicks. And besides standing starts just makes “breaks” in the race, that we don’t necessarily need (and that we didn’t ask).

    How about improve the racing for once? For instance, I really like the idea of slow zones used in WEC (instead of having a whole race neutralised). Why not putting this idea in F1?

  36. More likely it would lead to more laps being lost to get to the formation lap configuration.
    Also these new brakes start smoking the moment they stop so will we be seeing a smoky restart?
    One point in favor is that they can use a richer up the fuel mix from then on and all the energy they harvested behind the safety car can be brought to bear for the restart.

  37. Worse than double points in my opinion. Safety cars near the end of the race will lead to totally undeserving winners.

  38. Interesting topic. I would say, nothing is wrong until it crops up. Nothing has cropped up to made it warranted. That is a ‘race restart’ that would displace many who have already raced for position. You can’t take that away from those who have put in the effort. But then, if DRS is allowed, then let the lottery begin. Just kiddin. No to all of the above, and put all the sporting rules back to before Schum and Ferrari made Max and Bernie jack em all up. That is when F1 REALLY went wrong.

  39. Considering all of the silly ideas that have been thrown around in the last few years, this one isn’t too bad. But I imagine there would be huge difficulties with getting all the cars in the correct order which could turn out to be a huge waste of time, so I’m hoping hope this one doesn’t get implemented.

  40. Ah yes, the answer to a question that nobody was asking.

  41. zak misiuda (@)
    20th June 2014, 11:10

    They would be better off implementing the safety zone that they used in les man

  42. The safety car isn’t there to allow extra passing, it’s there for safety. If we’re going to introduce standing starts for more passing – why not just do it every ten laps? A ‘race’ isn’t just about inventing artificial ways to put the fastest car at the front.

  43. Yet another rule change just because they can. What a sport! Every year for no reason the rules change. No other sport does this nonsense. That is why F1 is not a sport it’s just some guys driving around a circuit trying hard to impress the masses.

  44. Neil (@neilosjames)
    20th June 2014, 11:15

    “The reasoning for the change is simple to understand. F1′s single file rolling restarts tend not to lead to changes of position.”

    Which is exactly why rolling starts need to be kept. Safety cars don’t exist to create overtaking, they exist for safety.

    What a stupid, stupid idea.

  45. A 50 second advantage can be thrown away by a safety car and now you’d also want to give P2 a chance into T1 already? No.

  46. I disagree for a simple reason: the cars left running under a Safety Car have, more often than not, nothing to do with the accident occurred. A standing start just increases the chances that a front-runner, who already had his advantage deleted by the Safety Car, could lose his position or even more. It would also increase waiting times: the Safety Car and rolling restarts are there to get back to racing as quickly as possible. Red flags already occur when the situation does not allow drivers to get through and there is no hope of clearing in time.

  47. I just don’t understand why during a SC lapped cars must overtake the entire field, wich gives some chaos, and than have to drive a full lap. Why don’t lapped cars just let the field past them and fall to the back of the field. Then the FIA just gives them their lap back and everybody is in the same lap within a short time. Nowadays we have to wait at least 2 or 3 laps to let these lapped cars overtake the field and line up at the back again. In my solution this can be done in just a few corners. Let the lapped cars wait on some run off areas and line up at the back. The FIA adjusts the timing pages to give these cars their lap back and voila problem solved!

    1. Sounds good, till you realize that the cars that pulled over now have a lot more fuel once the race restarts.

      1. Not to mention tyres/mechanical parts that have completed one lap less than the timing says. Bit unfair on the last of the unlapped runners.

      2. That’s indeed a good argument against it. But lapped cars aren’t allowed to drive at full speed when they drive around the track to get their lap back, so then the fuel won’t decrease as much and the tires also won’t degradade as much as during a normal racing lap. Yes the lapped cars have an advantage then, but those lapped cars are mainly backmarkers who even can’t compete with the cars in front even when they have more fuel and better tires to use.

  48. 1) Standing starts would increase the lottery aspect which the safety car already brings. I assume they would be allowed to start on fresh tyres so maybe teams would gamble even more on the safety car for a free tyre change. Seems unfair on those who might have worked for 90% of the race to get a good position, and could lose it all.

    2) Someone made a good point that starts are when most accidents happen, so there could fairly often be chains of restarts in the cars don’t get away cleanly. And if the start is within the last 10 laps, the chances of an accident increase dramatically because drivers will go all out to gain track position. With the first race start, at least drivers know that they have another 60+ laps to make up places – if you start in 13-14th and have 5 laps left you might aswell banzai it to try and get in the points.

    3) Takes a long time to set up the start and would be disruptive to the race – especially with complications of setting up grid positions which the drivers haven’t prepared for.

    I can see how it would make races more dramatic, more action packed, and less predictable, but overall it feels too artificial, unfair, and creates too many practical issues to be a benefit.

    1. 4) Stopping and attempting to restart the cars mid-way through the race might bring up more reliability issues. Components which have been running at full temperature for many laps, or those that have issues (Rosberg+Perez in Canada) might have complete failures which they could otherwise have managed until the end of the race.

      1. I don’t believe the current clutches are up to multiple standing starts. You could have as many as 6 starts in a race under this scenario: how much contingency will they have to build in?

  49. I neither agree nor disagree. It’s undoubtedly a gimmick but not nearly as bad as double points and if that is what will attract the young generation to the sport, then OK, go on with it.

    However, I agree with every word of the “I say” section. The risk of shrinking field is particularly dangerous as nothing will make F1 exciting if there are only 10 cars on the grid. Moreover, financial disparity between two teams will always mean that something exciting between them is unlikely to happen on the track.

  50. The last thing I want to see in any sports are disruptions to the flow of the game/competition/race in the form of stoppages like this.
    During a safety car period you at least get to see the cars rolling on the track, saving the continuity of the whole race, which is suppose to be an hour and a half long competition on average.
    Slicing it into pieces with red flags makes it not worthwhile.

    And I don’t understand why it isn’t enough for them when Safety Cars ruin drivers’ leads over the cars behind them by bringing everybody close together, but they want to also see cars swap positions at random due to a restart, which is what a restart does. That’s just too unfair at that point.

  51. I think standing starts would be a great idea, because they are a hell of a lot more exciting to watch than a rolling start, having more than 1 standing start per race would be great to watch, as it takes a lot of driver skill just to get a good start let alone a great one.

    For the real F1 fanatics like ourselves the majority of people seem to be against it, I don’t think its particularly sporting to have the lead drivers 20 second gap taken away and get bogged down on the restart, but I can’t see how it wouldn’t spice things up. – isn’t that what the FIA are trying to achieve?

  52. I give F1 another 20 years and kids won’t even hear about it anymore.
    I am sorry to say that we are witnessing the ending process of F1. F1 has become a money making business.

  53. Do not agree with this, F1 really need to go back to basics and help the back of the grid to make entering the sport a more viable option and not just a high risk gamble . To be honest I just don’t see that happening and I believe the FIA are in a tough spot trying to more the sport towards a business strategy that is fairer across the board whilst not being seen to penalise the big teams, how they pull that trick off is anyone’s guess but I for one really hope they do.

  54. I oppose.

    I was thinking events where we have had incidents instantly after safety car, so that second incident also requires safety car. Those which come to my mind are Heidfeld/Sato crash at Austria 2002, Liuzzi accident at Australia 2006 Kubica accident at Canada 2007 and Schumacher/Vergne crash at Singapore 2012. There would be more these kind of incidents, or even worse, none of those has involved more than two cars.

    As we lose laps under safety car I would propose that each two laps behind safety car would add one lap to the race distance. So if on Sunday there was a safety car of four laps, the race distance would be 73 laps in total. I don’t think it would be too damaging for fuel consumption either, since driving behind safety car will take much less fuel than clean racing laps. Each period would be counted separately, so safety car periods of three and five laps would add three laps to a total.

  55. When I read that Keith had had to use the phrase “improve the f1 show” again I threw up a bit in my mouth.

    1. Yeah he fell for it. As many have. Rather than revolt, everybody started debating the outcomes of DRS, fuel usage, tire wear, etc, as if it was acceptable. And cause of everybody doing that, the rule stood.

      People actually had ‘constructive’ conversations about something that shouldn’t even have been discussed. They became lemmings.

      And so.. the rules stood.

      I hate to say it, but Formula E is going to start drawing a larger crowd, just for that reason.

      And I have no problems with that. Racing is not about noise oil or grease (this from a machine head). It’s about racecraft. Who picks the best lines. And that IT. If you want any more than that, then your not a racer, nor a race fan.

  56. This seems again that the F.I.A. are creating rules with the intention of making the racing more entertaining and less authentic.

    For me, Safety Car periods are a necessary evil in races. The price to pay for allowing the marshalls to safely clean up the track is the somewhat “unfair” outcome that the gaps between competitors get bunched up, unfair in the sense that the drivers have competed to get the gaps between them and then the gaps are neutralised. At least the current rules preserve the order of the competitors.

    By introducing standing starts there is a good chance that competitors will be able to gain multiple positions which they would not have been able to do if there had been no Safety Car period. Simply put, this is akin to a lottery.

    There are so many things that have been wrong with F1 for many years. I would like to see the F.I.A. actually trying to solve these problems rather than create new rules which increase the probability that a driver other than the “best driver” wins a race.

  57. Once again this is the FIA selling the sporting integrity of F1 for cheap, mindless entertainment. When will they realise that a genuine sporting contest IS entertainment in itself? I would rather see a processional race where a driver wins by over a minute, than see a close race where the winning driver didn’t deserve it.

  58. As long as it’s not that ridiculous slow zone things that they used at LeMans which resulted in some drivers going through it more times than others.

  59. Why not do a proper rolling start like in gt races and stuff, it’s basically a rolling grid and no additional time will be lost

  60. Atrocious.

  61. 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!!!!

  62. For a change
    F1 out of FIA Organisation’s Control

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

    1. 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.

      1. Chris Cartile (@)
        20th June 2014, 17:57

        It is a shame that Indycar and WEC are becoming a model for things F1 should do instead of the opposite. The powers that be are obviously oblivious…

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

    1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      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.

      1. What he said.

    2. 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.

    3. “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.

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

  67. 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?…

    1. @somersf1, It wouldn’t. But would be funny to watch Maldonado “having fun” with a pit wall again, tough :)

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

    1. Can’t agree anymore mate.
      Complete nonsense and utter stupidity.
      Who asked for this by the way?

  70. 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!!!

    1. @john-h
      This is turning F1 into wwe.
      trying to manufacture action and excitement

  71. 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.

  72. “…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.”

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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 :(

  76. This would end in tears, in terms of wrecks and reliability issues. F1 clutches and related equipment are not made for numerous restarts. The entire process would lead to overheating and related mechanical ills. However, I would consider “half-hog”—just red flag the race if an SC period of more than a few laps seems to be in the cards. However, we have to consider TV schedules and the risk of creating a “timed-race,” which I think people won’t like.

  77. The essence of all sport is pure and fair competition and has to be perceived as such to be interesting.
    Those who has run the sport for the last decades has paid very little consideration to this. In fact they have made sure of quite the opposite.
    F1 can be described as a set of commercial interests posing as a sport but you can not fool the fans for ever, and no gimmicks in the world can compensate for this once the public have understood that what they are being served is a charade.

  78. “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.”


  79. Chris Cartile (@)
    20th June 2014, 17:39

    I have another idea- every safety car let the FIA randomly draw new positions for each driver to restart in. That would spice it up and really be no worse than fake passing, fake fall-apart tires, penalty horny stewards, tilke parking lot runoffs and absolute and complete garbage TV/Internet coverage.

  80. I have a solution to the financial part of the problem.

    Make F1 exempt from cigarette advertising ban. Quota the advertising from the tobacco companies so that the last team in the standings can get the most funds (and surface area), while the top one can get the least, accordingly.

    Problem solved =))

  81. I like this plan. It certainly will make the cars closer on restarts, which is something I would like to see. But, as Keith pointed out, why not just red flag it? That makes a lot more sense, and that way we waste no time behind the safety car.

  82. Stopping the cars from running makes very good sense from a safety standpoint (for marshals + avoiding punctures etc), but keeping them running during the clean up period + shuffling backmarkers and THEN stopping sounds like an april fools joke to be honest. It’s hard to believe the pinnacle of motorsport came up with this idea.

    The standing start itself is not a good idea as it increases the risk of accident and gives even more advantage to the following cars than the massive amount they already got in closing the gaps.

    Backmarkers should NOT be allowed to unlap themselves, it’s artificial and unfair.

  83. Utter, utter nonsense. We’ll lose time circulating behind the safety car and then lose time having a standing restart. If the FIA want standing restarts they should do away with the safety car altogether and just red flag the race whenever a major incident happens.

    Another example of the FIA trying to fix problems that didn’t exist to begin with.

  84. My view is pretty much what Keith said in the article.

    I wouldn’t want to see it, but they could come up with far worse things like double points or something stupid like that.

  85. Since this idea is simply for entertainment purposes, why not reverse the field while they’re at it.

  86. This is just another rule to try and catch out the leader. I don’t think its fair to further penalise someone for leading the race prior to the incident and standing starts usually give the driver in front the best opportunity to keep the lead. Standing starts will take too long and is more likely to cause another incident into the first corner causing another restart and this repeats over so I can see a huge flaw in this.

  87. I want to see a red flag and drivers getting in the T-car when something happens on lap 1.

    If I can’t get that, I’d take standing starts over flying start after the SC happily.

  88. johnny stick
    20th June 2014, 21:35

    I think F1 needs to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. Does it want to be a spec series where the cars are pretty even and the best driver wins? Or does it want to be the premier motor sport where the best technology, ideas and performance wins?

  89. This is just wrong. I’m dead set against it, but not simply because it’s more tinsel in place of real solutions. I dislike it because it’s offering drivers a chance to unjustly gain or lose positions because of another driver’s mistake. Imagine if a driver is doing an incredible job all race long but loses his lead at the restart. There’s also the issue of clutch wear, transmission strain, and heat which could see retirements from the race as a result of multiple standing starts.

    Standing restarts are a bad idea because they can completely ruin the races of those who have done nothing wrong, and we get enough of that from normal safety cars as it is. In the event of an accident, it should either be a safety car or a red flag with a rolling restart. Positions should not be readily gambled upon for the sake of “the show”.

  90. dodge5847 (@)
    20th June 2014, 22:42

    really abolishing lapped cars unlapping themselves would help, let them slide back to their track position

    1. They won’t have the fuel and wear that reflects their position in the timings.

  91. 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.

  92. I think so, I would like it.

  93. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    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

  94. 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.

  95. Peter Rippon
    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!

  96. 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.

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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?

  100. 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

  101. 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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