Start, Suzuka, 2019

FIA could change how it measures jump starts

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In the round-up: The FIA may change how it monitors jump starts following confusion over Sebastian Vettel’s near-false start in Japan.

What they say

While Kimi Raikkonen was penalised for jumping the start in Russia, Vettel wasn’t when he moved before the lights changed in Japan. FIA race director Michael Masi admitted there could be some room for improvement, potentially involving the allowable tolerances in the timing of a driver’s start:

The current system is the system that we’ve had in place for a number of years. I think the advent of technology has got better over the years with in-car cameras, the ability to see things better and all that.

Is it something that we can look at for the future? Absolutely. But [right] now it is the determining factor that we have and the one that we use.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

It’s been a down-and-up kind of season for Pierre Gasly – what’s next for him?

Gasly is an interesting case study. The difference between his almost disastrous appearances in a Red Bull stands in stark contrast to his comfortably good performances in the Toro Rosso.

There is a small chance it will be an interesting conundrum for Dr. Marko to decide between Albon and Gasly (the former of whom is doing decently well), but I think the bigger concern will be for Gasly, in terms of his F1 future.

It seems unlikely they’ll give him a shot at the big team, so where does he go? To another midfield team? Or does he just suck it up and hold station at Toro Rosso until the RB pipeline fills up with young talent, at which point either Kvyat or he is dropped?

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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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44 comments on “FIA could change how it measures jump starts”

  1. The FIA rule book doesn’t need changing but the stewards’ logic flow does need to change.
    Is the car a Ferrari; no investigation necessary.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      20th October 2019, 9:59

      I don’t see a problem with when they decide to apply the penalty for jump starts as i do see consistency here.

      Vettel hardly moved at all. And he stopped before he had even left his box. Plenty of other drivers such as verstappen often attempt to park right on the limit in their slot. Vettel could have started a bit further forward and this will be why he got away with moving then stopping as it was within the limits. It is nothing to do with him being in a Ferrari…

      What Kimi did in Russia was totally different. He moved a long way forward of his box before the lights went out, therefore got a penalty. Magnussen in Austria moved ever so slightly past his grid slot, hence why he got a penalty.

      Bottas in Austria 2017 was probably the most questionable of any of these. He certainly looked to move before the lights went out, but there is something some most people don’t seem to think about. They may measure it from when the lights get switched off rather than actually going out. The old incandescent lamps will vertually always fade out even if they are turned off at the switch rather than the power. Therefore they will not go out instantly. And it can look like they are still on, basically making it look like a driver has jumped the start when they actually haven’t. Yes, this means the drivers would have to use a total and lucky guess at when they would go, but is may explain why Bottas got away with it and got an apparent reaction time on 0.201 seconds.

      There were videos of the lights still being on when he looked to move, but the thing i explained about the lights could be the reason here. More modern lights such as LEDs will go off instantly if they are switched of directly but if they get powered off (very unlikely) they will have a delay as the transformer will hold onto a bit of power.

      One of these is the only reason i can think Bottas looked to be moving when the lights were on despite the time they measured. You can often see at certain tracks where they use the old starting lamps, that they fade out slowly when watching in slow motion. I think this delay often will make people think drivers jump the start when if they measure it from when they get turned off, they actually haven’t. But maybe this needs looking into.

      They were saying on the f1 coverage recently that jump starts don’t happen recently. There are these ones i have mentioned and then i think there are more over the past few years too. This one didn’t get investigated, but Alonso in Russia one year looked to be right on the limit. There was one race where Ericsson got a jump start too. He got a penalty.

      I personally think they should measure the jump starts better than they do, but i do at least see consistency with their decisions on weather to give a penalty or not which many others don’t seem to. Pretty much ever jump start has been a different situation. Those comparing the 2 most recent ones in the last 2 races for example, they are significantly different and i think there is an obvious reason why one went unpunished.

      1. Thanks @michael masi
        I often wondered why my mate Mark was slow to start…he was obviously waiting for all the lights to go out. :0

      2. @thegianthogweed
        “Plenty of other drivers such as verstappen often attempt to park right on the limit in their slot.”
        Which is exactly what they are supposed to do, being the best drivers on the planet!
        Don’t drag this into a discussion to validate what Vettel did. He made a mistake, and although their might be “some system” that meassures this stuff; When the entire world sees you moving with the lights still on, you should get a penalty. (Bottas should have gotten a penalty to, btw .)

        1. And i was not against Verstappen at all. I was basically explaining that Vettel had parked a little further back. Therefore moving then stopping didn’t get him too far – explaining why he did not get a penalty.

          He did indeed make a mistake – but also had quick enough reactions to avoid getting into trouble. I won’t deny it was a mistake that cost him a good start.

          Regarding Bottas, I am assuming that you are meaning for the Austrian grand Prix 2 years ago? As he did not even release move at all until the lights were visibly out in japan.

      3. Vettel hardly moved at all. And he stopped before he had even left his box.

        This makes me think we should leave the rule as it is, but the question is how do we know he didn’t leave his box? The on board cameras don’t show this very well. It would be good if there were side views of the grid (that also showed the grid boxs) at the start.
        As it is, Vettel was indirectly punished for his error because Bottas was able to get passed him at the start and subsequently won the race.

        1. The onboard cameras showed that he just crossed that yellow line, but not the white one which was the front of the box. I think even if they park just touching that line, they still get away with it. Magnussen in austria went a tiny fraction past it and got punished. So i think Vettel must have just about stopped in time. If they go ahead of this i am certain they are penalised.

      4. Racecarisracecarbackwards
        20th October 2019, 20:15

        The stewards may have allowed a bigger margin for error in Japan because of the downhill start.

  2. Absolutely farcical by Red Bull to drop O’Ward. Didn’t they hire him like less than a year ago?

    1. Actually Red Bull saved him for no racing in 2019 and gave him a unique experience. The problem is that Helmut Marko looks like he wants a second Verstappen on his hands, replacing every pilot for any mistake.

      And the Superlicense points got harder as the Indy Lights points (15) weren’t taken into account, having 18 from 2017 IMSA first place, Pato would have reach 33 points. He just have required a 7th position in F2 or being 5th in SFJ to being considered for Superlicence, but IMSA points expires on 2020.

      It’s weird as both of them haven’t confirmed that Pato is out of Red Bull programe, just that he’s not going to take action on SFJ last race.

    2. Yes, with the goal of bringing him to F1. But if you read the article you’ll see that his chances of getting a super-license vanished when FIA decided to award him less points for his Indy Lights title, because of the reduced grid of cars. Then it was obvious he could’t come to F1. His future, and he said so, is in IndyCar, but Red Bull has no interest in IndyCar.

      1. Dani P, the thing is, it was hardly a shock result – the FIA’s licence regulations made it explicitly obvious right from the start that O’Ward was never going to be eligible for any superlicence point, as that minimum field size is a clause that has been there for a number of years.

        I wonder if Red Bull were really just using this as a bit of a publicity stunt, because it should have been obvious he wasn’t going to qualify for any superlicence points – but it was a rather effective way of generating additional press around them, particularly in the US.

  3. Didn’t kimi basically do the same thing vettel did? If so it’s another example of the stewards playing favorites

    1. Or the sensors screwing up, since the Vettel thing only didnt apply because the sensor didnt activate. And the sensors override stewards when it comes to jump starts because they have to allow tolerance for smaller movements.

      1. There was clearly a difference: Vettel didn’t move far enough to trigger the sensor. It wasn’t a jump start, according to the rules.

    2. I put my hand up, at the time I also thought Vettel has crossed the box line but have a look at Palmer’s analysis on YouTube, it’s not quite the same as the Kimi incident, indeed it’s quite impressive Vettel only lost one place.

  4. I cant believe Vergne has fallen for the idea that F1 and/or motorsport is the most polluting sport in the world. The cars on the track are nothing compared to the spectators who follow and participate in all sports. How do people get to football games of all codes in all countries? How about all the golfers driving to the golf courses of the world every day? Driving kids to tennis, cricket swimming, hockey netball, etc, etc? The list goes on. It’s our overall lifestyle that is causing pollution, not the few cars running around on a track.

    1. Yep, interesting point @elreno

      True, country hopping the whole season, with quite a bit of freight means the F1 paddock might have a bigger impact per event than many, while FE being in cities with (claims of) mainly local audiences might mean audiences cause less impact, with all the track having to be built every time, it probably gains again.

    2. If the teams would instead bring 10% less stuff to any one fly away race it would reduce the emissions more than any change to the cars.

      1. I keep suggesting F1 move its overseas cargo on sailing ships. It’s not like Liberty needs more than one race a month.

        1. @jimmi-cynic, you do realise that the teams already ship part of their cargo to overseas races using container ships?

    3. I cant believe Vergne has fallen for the idea that F1 and/or motorsport is the most polluting sport in the world.

      He hasn’t. He just got a really bum deal in F1 (missing promotion over the teammate he was neck and neck with and then unceremoniously dropped) and his trying to raise the stock of FE where he is doing really well.

      Trouble is, doing really well in FE is worth about as much in reputation as doing really well in F3, maybe less.

  5. Regarding the COTD: He mightn’t get another shot at the senior team, but even if this was the case, doesn’t mean he couldn’t get a shot in a different top-team, but if he indeed weren’t to get another shot in RBR then he should leave the RB-family for good to increase his chances of joining a rival team. Either he or Kvyat would probably eventually face the ax anyway once more RB-juniors become available for super-license.

    1. Ambrogio Isgro
      20th October 2019, 17:32

      Problem is… Verstappen. Nobody, outside the ones already in Mercedes (Hamilton, Ocon, Russell), Ferrari (Vettel, Leclerc) or McLaren family (Sainz, Norris) has the potential to be really near him if not at the same level, apart Ricciardo that is already gone away.
      So everyone they have is doomed again Max, maybe Hulk could be a solid option as second driver. Otherwise someone from Indycar, but it requires time & money.

  6. Thank you for the CotD, Keith.

  7. Formula E is a joke, which has nothing common with being “green”.
    Vergne can of course defend it as much as he likes, but I think he just needs to educate himself a bit more about non-green electrical power generation and storage topics, which are actively hidden and lied about just about everyone involved.

    1. The number of parking spaces in the UK is diminishing as they are stolen to become electrical car recharging bays. Where I park for the library used to have a couple of spaces free most times, but now there are none. The brightly outlined charging spaces remain empty but forbidden. In our local Co-op car park, two spaces have gone. I noticed that people recharging are paying twice the domestic electricity unit rate. It cannot be long before the government decides to tax the electricity used to recharge cars. They are obviously loosing one of the major sources of income as petrol and diesel sales decline. The UK is still one of the highest, if not the highest, fuel taxing nations in the world. (With both duty and then VAT applied per litre) Obviously the government (if we actually have one in the future!) will need to replace the loss from both fuel tax and cigarette tax, thus we ca also expect vaping to be taxed. (I also expect vaping to be proved dangerous to health from the various mixes of dubious fluids used and of course the imminent danger of fire)
      But I have to ask where is the extra electricity coming from for car re-charging? (I had expected the fuel companies to invest heavily and lead the way as their product sales volume slowly declines but they seem to have adopted the last gasp, last drop principle.)
      Wind and solar are notoriously unreliable and what is really needed is major storage for about one third of the daily consumption nationwide. There are existing methods utilising battery banks but sadly most of these are lithium based. There is however a high capacity liquid chemical method which is efficient but little known.
      So will Formula E ever become an eco formula? How are the cars re-charged? Hoe did all the equipment get to the venue. As the transport industry slowly changes to an electrical base (In spite of Hydrogen or methane being more efficient) the problem which is now small will eventually become enormous. All events where the participants require many truckloads of equipment will soon begin to be seen as eco unfriendly! Obviously the Tour de France is often cited as the worst, but F1 may well be in the lead now that teams egos need so many buildings to contain them at venues. The number of trucks is now ludicrous. While we shout about the most efficient power units ever, one can the turn around and see the vast legions of trucks needed to get them there. Team prize money should have an element divided by the number of trucks used. This element should then form an increasing percentage of the total purse each year.

      1. rpaco, I’m going to have to pull you up on your assertion that hydrogen is more efficient.

        Hydrogen fuel cells currently cannot match the efficiency of battery systems (the US Department of Energy, for example, has pointed out that most fuel cells have an efficiency below 60% even in optimum conditions), whilst losses through the transportation network for hydrogen are also generally higher than that of the electrical power network. There have been multiple different studies that have shown that using hydrogen as a fuel store is fundamentally less efficient than batteries due to the lower efficiency of the entire production chain.

        Equally, if you are wondering where the power to supply battery electric vehicles is going to come from, doesn’t that same issue also apply to hydrogen production? You need to produce it from somewhere, and right now that is mainly from steam reforming of methane – which is itself a highly energy intensive production process.

      2. rpaco

        “I had expected the fuel companies to invest heavily and lead the way as their product sales volume slowly declines but they seem to have adopted the last gasp, last drop principle”

        In truth, the Oil majors have heavily invested in renewables. The big players, especially those who have big interest in LNG (think Shell, BP, Total), are spending big money on Solar and wind. As you said, both these forms of renewables are not reliable, and with coal thankfully becoming the less favoured method to maintain base load on national grids, most power companies and countries are turning towards LNG. This benefits the oil majors significantly. A lot of the anti-coal and anti-nuclear power lobbies are funded by oil companies.

        200 years from now, if humans are generating power from a weird green gooey water, you can be rest assured that Shell and Exxon will be selling it.

      3. The UK is still one of the highest, if not the highest, fuel taxing nations in the world.

        Nah mate, only a mere 7th place on the boards

  8. Agreed. Someone should start a FormulaH…

  9. As much as I love all the cool high-tech stuff in F1 and no matter how big of a geek I may be. In some cases simple/low-tech solutions are the best. Fortunately evolution has given us two very effective sensors to detect movement. Perhaps the stewards just forgot about them or maybe i’m a jerk and making fun of a group of blind people that were somehow selected to stewards for an F1 race.

  10. Why would you need to “measure” false starts? It’s clear to see if a car moves or not.

    Sure the technology can help detect a false start, but ultimately the rule is that the car is not allowed to move. It was clear that Vettel moved before the lights went out and only stopped again after the lights actually did go out.

    The Japanese GP is really a dark blemish on the stewards and race directors resume. As Alianora La Canta indicated there were about 8 or 9 mistakes and incorrect rulings over the weekend.

  11. How is F1 creating more pollution than any other sport in the world? What a stupid comment by Vergne. I would think baseball would be up there with 162 games a year. A single baseball team plays in front of something like 6 million people in a year who all get to the stadium by car.

    1. @darryn

      People attending Baseball in cars that are mostly powered by oil. They get sold and most of their appeal from Motorsport involvement and sponsorship.

      Formula E promotes so called ‘green’ vehicles and support, even if they have the same companies taking part.
      It’s all about money for them anyway. Ultimately the consumer pays for it.

      Maybe we should put Human rights at this very moment in time before any alleged Human caused climate change in 100 years or so.
      China owns corporate America in this regard. F1 doesn’t have a good record for supporting Human rights protesters.

      1. alleged Human caused climate change in 100 years or so.

        Typical right wing rubbish from you.

  12. If a car engages its clutch after the red lights start but before the green goes out it should be a false start. Surely they have sensors to detect that??? I get the old transponder detection was required but in the modern era surely they can measure the clutch release.

  13. There only need to be two conditions for a jump atart:
    1) Was the car moving at the time of lights-out?
    2) Was the car outside it grid position?

    If either are a yes, jump start.

    Applying penalties is the part that makes it a wide ranging debate. Should Kimi have been given a drive-through penalty even though he moved, came to a complete stop and then dropped to the back of the grid?

  14. Jump starts: punish them if they actually start. What’s the point of punishing if they break, ending up in losing places like Kimi did (and Vettel too)?

  15. It’s simple, moving before the lights are out is a false start.
    Even if the movement is in the grid box, before the white line there is an advantage in moving to soon.

  16. Michael Masi obviously doesn’t realize he’s supposed to follow after Whiting, not become like him.

    To admit there is an imperfect system, but not overly concerned with it is just like hearing Charlie. The justification is also likely the same: With a vague and unclear system he can maintain the power to steer championships with arbitrary decisions.

  17. how is this even a conversation or more complicated than what it is. If the car moves, its a jump start. simple

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