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Do late-race standing restarts belong in F1?

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After flirting with the idea of restarting suspended grands prix with a standing start on the grid in 2014, the FIA finally introduced standing restarts into F1’s sporting regulations midway through the 2018 season.

However, it was not until the Italian Grand Prix of 2020 in which the system was used for the first time, with the remaining field taking to the grid for the race to resume after Charles Leclerc’s heavy accident at Parabolica.

Since the system was introduced, races suspended by red flags outside of the opening two laps have been resumed with standing grid restarts a total of eight times – including twice in the final five laps of the scheduled race distance.

The last grand prix in Australia just two weeks ago was only the second race after the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix to feature three grid starts in the same race after two red flags – one after Alexander Albon’s lap seven crash which littered the circuit with debris and damaged the barrier and the second after Kevin Magnussen’s single-car accident with less than five laps remaining.

Currently, F1’s sporting regulations outlines in Article 58.11 that red flagged races will be resumed with a standing start from the grid “if track conditions are considered suitable to resume… from a standing start”. Article 58.12 specifies that rolling starts behind the Safety Car will only be used when “track conditions are considered unsuitable”.

This means that even when there are only two racing laps remaining until the chequered flag, a race suspended in the later stages by a red flag will resume from the grid – as was the case in the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix and the most recent round in Australia.

But is it right for standing starts from the grid to be the normal procedure for restarting a grand prix interrupted by a red flag? Or should the rules change to limit their use to specific times during a race?

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In the late nineties and early 2000s, races were rarely suspended by red flags outside of major opening lap crashes – which were restarted from the grid as if the grand prix was starting anew, minus any drivers unable to continue. Then the rules were changed, meaning that only the initial race start would be a standing start on the grid, with any restarts being rolling restarts behind the Safety Car, even if the red flag was flown on the opening lap.

Restart, Baku City Circuit, 2021
The Baku race of 2021 restarted with two laps remaining
Standing restarts are inherently more competitive by their nature. Drivers start side-by-side staggered on the grid, with the potential to gain or lose positions on the run to turn one depending on how good or bad a launch they get when the lights go out. There are also more dangerous, with the field much closer together compared to a rolling start – which naturally strings out cars in single file – meaning there is a greater risk of contact and collisions, as demonstrated in the final restart in Melbourne.

Despite surviving the restart and winning the race, Max Verstappen suggested that a standing restart with only two laps to go was not the best way to try and resume racing.

“I think if you would have had a Safety Car and then just had a normal rolling start, we wouldn’t have had all these shunts and then you have a normal finish,” Verstappen said after the race. “So they created the problems themselves at the end of the day.”

Although the regulations insist that a standing start should be used by default, one alternative would be to outline when standing starts should be used in the rules. Formula 1 currently has a system to award four different sets of championship points depending on how much of a race distance has been completed when a race is ended by a red flag without resuming – at two completed race laps, at 25% race distance completed, at half race distance completed and at 75% race distance completed. Those same milestones could be used to outline when a standing start can be used to restart a suspended race and when a rolling start must be used instead.

The benefit of that would be to reduce the risk of further chaotic restarts in the final laps as witnessed in Australia, but still allowing for standing starts to take place if a race is red flagged early on in proceedings. Mandating which restart procedures can be used at which point in the race would also eliminate any ambiguity over what counts as an “unsuitable” track condition – meaning the decision is no longer ultimately at the race director’s discretion.

The argument against that is that this creates an inconsistency with different restart procedures being used based on whether a race is restarted with 60 or six laps remaining or even have two different restart systems used in the same race if there are multiple red flags. Also, as the so-called ‘pinnacle of motorsport’, it could be argued that drivers should be trusted to manage a standing start without triggering collisions – no matter how much of the race remains.

But how would you like to see F1’s rules over standing restarts change – if at all? Have your say below.

You say

When should standing starts be used to restart grands prix after red flags?

  • A standing restart should be used no matter when the race is restarted (30%)
  • A standing restart should only be used for races stopped under 75% race distance (18%)
  • A standing restart should only be used for races stopped under 50% race distance (13%)
  • A standing restart should only be used for races stopped under 25% race distance (5%)
  • A standing restart should only be used for races stopped within the first two laps (20%)
  • A standing restart should never be used to restart a grand prix (14%)

Total Voters: 142

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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91 comments on “Do late-race standing restarts belong in F1?”

  1. A Grand Prix should only have one standing start – the start of the race.

    1. En no red flag … ever….

      1. Yes, I tend to agree. Red Flags should be seen maybe once in an entire season. It is not as if we let the kids run go karts. This is supposed to be the pinnacle of Motorsport. Once the lights go off we will see who will still be standing after the race finished. Sure a SC or VSC can help in addressing dangerous situation on track that need to be cleared. There is never a need for a red flag unless the tarmac has completely disappeared. On a side note, I feel part of the need to interfere is because the level of driving is mediocre at best in the current generation drivers. Something the F1 academy needs to address, but I think they are still stuck in training women only (a huge missed opportunity and again proving inclusion is something very difficult to grasp for some apparently). We need to get better drivers into the sport. Half of the field can be replaced with anyone else without us noticing it in terms of their driving or results.

    2. Yellow Barron
      16th April 2023, 9:07

      Exactly, there’s no options here for rolling restarts. If they must have it a little closer then simply have a green flag rolling restart instead of the lead driver dictating the start. Or side by side like indycar and karting

    3. Most late standing restarts have resulted in almost no changes in order. So, it’s overblown how much it effects the results.

      However, the things they are throwing SCs let alone red flags for are embarrassing. In 2018 Magnussen had a nearly identical incident near the same turn w/a tire left on the track which they handled with just a yellow flag, but despite the situation being more favorable this time (only a tire + right next to a marshal station), Wittich throws a red flag! The difference in caliber between Wittich or Masi and Charlie Whiting is a similar to that between Latifi and Alonso.

      It’s embarrassing situation for the sport. Either Wittich has zero idea how motorsports are directed/run or the FIA have told him to run races w/the idea that ANY on track situation merits a VSC at minimum. It’s pathetic.

  2. It all comes down to your appetite for entertainment versus purity. I know Racefans readers and writers tend to err towards the latter but we can’t ignore the fact that the sport needs to be entertaining to survive.

    That said, I have an issue with fairness if a standing restart is used in the latter stages of a GP, so I’m somewhere between allowing them in the first 25%-50% of a race.

    Regular restarts don’t tend to offer much, so I’d like to see double file safety car restarts, similar to Indycar starts

    1. I don’t think they’re primarily red flagging and calling VSC/SCs for entertainment. I think it’s just gotten to the point where this new generation of staff on the race direction team, taking their cue from Todt the EU road safety warrior/politician, treat F1 as if it needs to be just as safe as any theme park activity for the general public. They even started penalizing attempts at breaking a tow cause it “looks dangerous” to the clueless fools like Wittich now running the race.

    2. It all comes down to your appetite for entertainment versus purity

      In all fairness, I do not think it should be allowed to come down to that. It is either a sport or it is not. If it is a sport it should be pure. If it is not a sport, do whatever you want. I feel Liberty is on a path to destroy the legacy of F1. And to be unfairly generalising and stereotyping (I know it is not that black and white, trying to make a point here..): All the beauty in the world will eventually be replaced with dollars if you let them run the circus.

    3. I mean if people care about fairnes, might as well force cars to keep the gap during safety car and ban pit stops during that time also since a safety car also resets stuff.

  3. Neil (@neilosjames)
    15th April 2023, 12:25

    I think a standing start should be used once, at the actual start, unless there’s a first-lap red flag early enough to nullify any position changes.

    Never quite bought into the idea of being increasingly liberal with the use of the full safety car/red flags, in the name of ‘safety’, while also introducing more standing restarts – the part of the race most likely to lead to a crash and therefore to potential injury.

    1. Yeah I think the red may have been warranted for the first incident in Oz but not the subsequent events. Should have been SC, VSC, or local yellow flags.

  4. The problem here isn’t that of a standing start. Standing starts are a perfectly good way to start or restart a race. The problem was red flagging the race to have a standing start. There have been accidents worse than what happened for which they kept the race behind a Full SC. There was no need to have a standing start. So the call should be whether the incident could’ve been handled with a Safety car. Not whether we should stop standing starts.

    If cars crashed during a standing start, then it’s not a problem with the rule. It’s a problem with drivers not avoiding contact. They do this time and again during the start of the race and get out cleanly. Then why is a restart any different? If standing starts are unsafe then they should be banned all together and all races should be started behind a safety car.

    100% keep standing restarts. But, don’t simply red flag a race just to have a standing restart.

    1. The problem being discussed IS standing starts. Don’t change the topic.
      There is meaning and significance to a standing start. Doing it mid race ruins the feel of a race as a singular, continuous event.

      1. “ruins the feel of a race as a singular, continuous event.” Yessirreebob …

    2. Wow, not making any sense and contradicting yourself in each paragraph. An outstanding feat.

      1. It does make sense, example the last paragraph means they should keep standing starts WHEN IT’S THE CASE but not force them with a red flag when conditions barely even require a SC.

    3. 100% agree. The restart itself was fine. However no need to red flag to force it for the purpose of excitement. A safety car finish is disappointing at times, but the rules certainly allow it.
      I voted always standing, my preference is either it’s always standing, or it’s standing only at race start. In between variations are annoyingly complicated. Simplify and add consistency.

      1. What if they red flag it for the purpose of safety? Cos that’s what they did in Australia.

  5. Standing starts for the sake of the show, no thank you very much. I would even go as far as to say that if a red flag is brought out after 90% of the race distance, the race is over then and there. Baku 2021 and Melbourne 2023 were a mess. If a race is interrupted for safety reasons, I can live with a standing restart, however I’d favor rolling restarts anytime.

    1. Hamilton would’ve won the championship because of verstappen’s puncture in that case, can’t live with that, it was good they made a red flag in that case, as verstappen was the most deserving driver in 2021.

      But I don’t like red flags late race, because they neutralize the advantage drivers got, they’re good for entertainment ofc, this is the same problem with the SC.

      1. You do realize that’s a moot point, yes? Baku was the sixth race of the year…

        1. The sixth race of the year provides just as many points as the final race and is therefore just as important in the championship race. The issue with the 2021 season is that there were many races that could have played out differently and could have changed the outcome of the final standings.

      2. You have (had?) a 2 lap countback in such situations for the final classification to allow time between crash and when the red flag finally drops. Fisichella won Brazil 2003 due to that. In case of Baku 2021, it would have been a Verstappen win, making AD21 a moot point (and perhaps stopped Mercedes from throwing engines at the championship).

    2. In the case of australia 2023 I wouldn’t mind if they end the race there, gasly example lost a great performance just because of the restart, and alonso almost lost his too, sainz’s result was also ruined.

      1. It was a bit silly to wait an hour for the last ~5 laps to be completed.

  6. Standing starts should be the preference every time a restart is required, with no exceptions.
    There is no more pure sporting method of restarting the race available.

    Remember what a red flag means – the race is stopped and needs to be restarted.
    If a standing start isn’t ‘right’ for a restart, then it’s not right for the initial start either.
    Good luck to anyone who argues for no standing starts at all….

    1. There is no more competitive method than a standing start.

      The most sporting method is a start from the pitlane with all time gaps reinstated as accurately as possible. And no work done on the car.

      Very limited reduction in race time. No uneven advantages through free stops. No tactical decisions nullified. No hard-won gaps lost.

    2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      16th April 2023, 8:47

      In a regulatory sense (and I’ve read the rules), red flags, safety cars and VSC are there to neutralise the race for safety reasons. There is no mention of improving the show or fairness of competition reasons.

      In this context, Frank’s description of his sporting method for restarts is the most logical and fair. In the past we got used to cars bunching up behind the pace car because, well, there was no better way to do it. To many this has become an intrinsic part of the sport. It’s like DRS, a bad solution that we need to revisit.

      With modern technology it would be perfectly possible to reset the race positions as they were before a disruption for safety reasons. Had this technology existed a the dawn of motor racing the restarts we have currently would be an anathema to us all.

      1. In this context, Frank’s description of his sporting method for restarts is the most logical and fair.

        But it isn’t. Time is irrelevant during the race – only position matters in this style of racing. (Until the end, anyway – in case of the application of any time-based penalties).
        Just the same is it does from qualifying to the race – being 1 second faster in qualifying doesn’t buy you a 1 second head start for the race, either.

        Just because it is possible to reset gaps does not mean it is desirable, nor beneficial to the F1 product or audience.
        And I disagree with your final sentence – I don’t think that even if time gaps were maintained in the past, that the bulk of the audience would want them to continue. Most of us want at least the opportunity for as much close, competitive racing as possible.

        1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          19th April 2023, 9:56

          Time is irrelevant during the race

          Oh yes it is!

          In logic terms, position is a function of time. This is also the way it is done in motor racing. In other words time determines position, nothing else does.

          Remember, I’m talking about what is logically fair here, not entertainment, not tradition, not a tactics or strategy puzzle.

          So if I take the lead of the race, open a gap of 24 seconds, why would it be fair that gap might be taken away through no fault of my own? I could pit for fresh tyres without losing the lead, I could take it easy use up the buffer and save my machinery. All of the advantages of that buffer are earned fair and square.

          Most of us want at least the opportunity for as much close, competitive racing as possible.

          Agreed, its just a case of how much arbitrary, artificial rule fudging you can accept as ok. I’d prefer less. Standing restarts make no sense from the point of view of logic and fairness, only for “the show”.

      2. DRS is fine.

  7. The only reason standing restarts were re-introduced to begin with was ‘For the show’ & from memory they were fairly open about that at the time. And I also seem to recall that they also looked at incorporating standing restarts after every safety car period at one point but eventually backed away from that idea.

    When you look back to when they moved away from standing restarts later in races one of the main reasons was safety & fairness. It was always felt that rolling restarts were safer, Especially later in races when there will be more marbles, dust & dirt offline as well as brakes been worn & not everyone may have new sets of tyres available all of which make the start & braking for T1 harder & potentially more dangerous than the initial start where things are more optimal.

    I also have an issue with late race restarts in terms of sporting fairness & what it means for the concept of a race been a Grand Prix.

    Is it fair or sporting that a 58 lap GP essentially comes down to the lottery of a standing restart (With the issues I mention above with track conditions, brakes & tyre wear) & in most cases who can get through the 1st few corners cleanly?

    Does that not basically render the entire rest of the Grand Prix meaningless & is that really what we want a Grand Prix race to come down to?

    1. One point about fairness is that a car that has stayed out could have a big advantage if a red flag is thrown and they keep track position but get to change their tyres. Having a more competitive start procedure could be fairer to those who stopped under racing or safety car conditions.

    2. A safety car also resets the gaps between the cars which is almost just as unfair. So if that’s fine then so are standing starts imo.

  8. Of those options, I think there should be a standing restart only in a situation like Silverstone when the red flag is too soon for the results after the first start to stand. Apart from that, rolling starts should always be used after a red flag. It is ridiculous for a 55 lap race to be worth nothing more than setting the grid for a 2-lap sprint which decides the results.

    However, I think the best option would be to keep standing starts but return to the old system of using aggregate times for red flag scenarios. So if there is a red flag on lap 40 and Verstappen is leading by ten seconds from Hamilton, then the race is restarted with a standing start, Hamilton alongside Verstappen, but ten seconds behind on aggregate so he would have to win the second part of the race by more than ten seconds to actually win the Grand Prix.

    In addition to this rule change, the safety car would no longer be available apart from in the first ten or so laps after the start as nobody would be in a pitstop window and nobody would have built up any kind of significant gap, so there would be no advantage or disadvantage to anyone due to the safety car.

    After ten laps have been completed, only a VSC or red flag would be options to the race director in the event of an incident, and no tyre changes would be allowed under either so the race will have been completely neutralised. I believe this would entirely eliminate the lottery nature of stoppages for safety reasons, which is too significant at the moment.

    I would miss the strategy element of safety cars, however, so perhaps this would be going too far. But the current use of safety cars and red flags is not working and races like Australia are making a mockery out of the sport.

    1. Aggregate times during a race is the worst idea ever, proven beyond argument if you ever saw it when they did do it.
      “Driver B takes the lead from Driver A, but they are actually 15 seconds behind.”
      How to confuse everyone and completely destroy any chance of enjoying the on-track product.
      Time gaps simply aren’t important – positional order is the only thing that matters. The F1 GP isn’t a time trial.

      And you do realise that SC and VSC are implemented for safety – not for entertainment or competitive purity? Much the same as a red flag – though that also takes other factors into account.

      I cringe every time someone uses the word “lottery.” Nothing about F1 even remotely resembles a lottery.
      If it did, everyone would have an equal chance of success at all times.

      The Melbourne GP was really good – with the exception of the final parade lap. No mockeries here, except the people making one of themselves by saying it was terrible. They stuck to the rules this time – if that’s making a mockery then what is it when they don’t follow them?
      How boring and predictable do you want F1 to be? Isn’t it predictable enough for you now?

      1. I have to say that I agree with you: they followed them rules, which was exactly the right thing to do.

        However, the discussion here isn’t whether they followed, or should have followed, the rules this time. It’s a given that they did, which was nice to see even if it led to an anticlimactic ending. That’s how it should be of that’s what the rules dictate and it’s insane that the FIA have put it in people’s head that it is possible for this not to be the case… But, after certain events, it’s understandable.

        What is being discussed is whether the rules should be different, or if it would be better if the rules were different. Personally, I’m not that fussed whether standing starts are used or not, although I hate the idea of restarts being different depending on how many laps have been completed. Set a procedure and stick to it, first lap or last, first race or last, close championship or not.

    2. I can remember some races where they used the aggregate times. its more fair but also very confusing to watch and difficult to determine the real order during the rest of the race.
      I always think it would be more fair to reinstate the gaps using a VSC after a SC or red flag. It would take away some excitement with the restarts but it should be possible with the current technology.

  9. There is an option missing – I do not think a hard rule for this should actually be in place. I do think a standing start is OK to use, provided things are safe off course.

    I do not think there really is a good reasoning to define when it should be used based on how much of the race has already taken place though. I voted the last option, but it does not really fit either, I am not at all sure it SHOULD always be used.

    1. @bascb I’d be interested to hear what criteria you personally would want to use to decide whether to go for standing or rolling starts.

      Is it, say, a circuit specific thing? Whether there may have already been a big accident during the initial standing start – that kind of thing?

      1. Personally, I’d say safety concerns should be the only criteria. Particularly, if standing restarts are the norm but the race is to be restarted in bad weather, a safety car restart is sensible, and the same could be the case for other serious safety concerns.

        However, for me, this would be a good reason to use only rolling starts: every restart can be handled the same way, and you don’t need exceptions. I don’t like exceptions, they’re too open to potential manipulation. Having one procedure which can be used in all situations, which must be used in all situations, is far more fair and sporting.

        1. @drmouse the regulations already state that the use of a standing start is subject to the track conditions being judged suitable to permit it to be used, with a rolling start to be used if the conditions are not suitable.

          1. Thanks, though I’m already aware of this.

            That said, this in itself leads to inconsistency. Race control can decide whether conditions are suitable for a standing start, but the decision is not always as expected. It’s also within their power to decide on those “conditions”, not just weather but anything they deem fit, which does leave the door open for manipulation of the restart procedure for whatever reasons they wish.

            This is why I, personally, believe that doing away with standing starts after the first would be beneficial. Every restart would be a rolling start, no matter the circumstances, leaving no requirement for judgement and no room for manipulation or inconsistency. It may not always be as exciting, but for me sporting fairness and consistency trump excitement every time.

      2. Good question there @willwood, so when to use standing starts. First of all, I take as the basis the preferred solution by F1 and by the FIA seems to be a standing start. But then it should indeed by decided based on the track, track conditions that kind of thing.

        In general I would rather focus on building a solid team of race control that we can rely on to make solid decisions rather than put something in the rules based on what percentage of the race etc. I just do not think that such hard clear lines really make sense in all cases. It’s not a computer game where we need a IF-THEN combination for everything.

        1. Given the inconsistency we see in decision making in F1, IMHO we could do with more if/then/else combinations. Although not, for me, a set race distance at which we change the rules.

  10. It’s worthless for us to bang our heads around it! Can FIA and teams sit down and sort this out properly?! Please!

    1. Better still – leave the teams completely out of the decision making process.
      They don’t want anything to be outside of their control.

  11. I feel it is ok to use standing restart. If you want, they can be after every safety car.

    But there should be aggregate timing used across all such restarted races. Once you use aggregate timing, drivers will automatically be wise about how much risk they take.

    Aggregate timings of the previous red flagged parts should be rounded down to the nearest second so that commentators and viewers can easily follow the next part of the race.

    I know this will feel outlandish to most on this website. But in this new Liberty era, this is a good solution.

  12. Always* or never, for me. A restart, just as a safety car or anything else, should be handled the same whether it’s on the first or last lap.

    Personally, I don’t really mind if it’s a standing or rolling start, but acting differently depending on how far into the race (or season) we are is wrong. All laps and all races should be treated equally.

    * Of course, track conditions should be taken into account. A restart behind the safety car in, for instance, bad weather is acceptable even if the normal restart is a standing start, as long as it’s because of the conditions not how far into the race/season we are.

    1. I agree. Race control needs to follow rules and guidelines rather than make it up as they go. Consistency is very important for the championship. Australia was really bad. Michael Masi would have done better. At least he would have learned something from his last race.

      1. Unfortunately, consistency is something F1 has been really bad at for decades….

  13. I’m glad F1 uses standing starts. I find rolling starts to be less compelling. A boost of excitement at the start of the race really helps to draw you in. But standing restarts are a different animal. You have damaged cars, cars on unusual tires, tires brakes, a lot less fuel… something is bound to happen and I think that is why F1 likes them now – injection of chaos.

    I think that F1 should only using a standing start at the beginning and safety car restarts. This red flag business started popping up after Mugello 2020 I believe when people went bonkers over the restart chaos.

  14. The real problem is that the normal racing is so lackluster that – having now exhausted many other means – they’re resorting to having multiple starts to have some more material for the highlights video (which always consist of many start replays, sometimes upwards of a third of the total runtime).

    When LMH/LMDh cars can fight for position over multiple laps, side by side through corners at a dusty, bumpy track like Sebring – many of said cars being in their first competitive outing – then it’s all the more obvious that F1 is simply unwilling to solve the real problems. Which, primarily, are that the cars are terrible for racing.

  15. Are standing restarts exciting? Obviously. Are they fair? Never. They will always cancel out someone’s advantage, the same as Safety Cars, only more so. So what bothers me less is less the restart itself and more what the rule should be on tyre changes and repairs. I’d say don’t allow them. Only often red flags are preceded by a VSC, exploited by some luckier teams to make a pit stop and then the red flag is called.
    There’s also the basic issue of trusting FIA to apply the red flag and restart rules with moderation, not using them more and more to add excitement. And I’m not sure I do.

  16. Are standing restarts exciting? Obviously. Are they fair? Never. They will always cancel out someone’s advantage, the same as Safety Cars, only more so. So what bothers me less is less the restart itself and more what the rule should be on tyre changes and repairs. I’d say don’t allow them. Only often red flags are preceded by a VSC, exploited by some luckier teams to make a pit stop and then the red flag is called.
    There’s also the basic issue of trusting FIA to apply the red flag and restart rules with circumspection, not using them more and more to add excitement. And I’m not sure I do.

  17. About two weeks since the relevant race, which already feels like forever ago with this unusually long interval, but my general view hasn’t changed, so long story short, no, & not only standing restarts but red-flagging over something relatively small that leads to these situations of choosing between rolling & standing in the first place.
    Debris and barrier? Only gravel, but pointless this long after anymore.
    Ultimately, I voted for the first option as one standing start per race is enough & the original is the only relevant one anyway.
    Overall, I hope FIA returns to its general pre-2020 race-neutralization handling approach.

    1. @jerejj I fully agree that the Red Flag should only ever be used as a last option. Sweeping gravel or debris from a minor incident does not merit a red flag.

      Red Flagging the race for unnecessary aspects just makes a mockery of the race.

      1. You seem to have missed some events in recent years where cars were circulating while track workers were cleaning the track. Imola and Monaco come to mind. Despite being under SC, there were some close calls as people were put in extreme danger – while drivers were too busy disobeying yellow flags…
        Perhaps you also missed the Japanese GP last season?

        A red flag to make sure every track worker and driver goes home safely after the race isn’t that much of an imposition on you, is it?

        1. S, but, in those instances, the real problem was identified as the insistence on “the show” taking priority above worker safety.

          In the case of Monaco, the marshals were instructed to enter the circuit at the wrong time by somebody working for the circuit who wasn’t supposed to issue that instruction and didn’t inform the FIA on what he was doing. It doesn’t matter what flag is being shown in that situation if somebody is deliberately circumventing the rules and ordering marshals onto the track when they should not have been there.

          As for Imola, the problem there was that the race director was being put under pressure to hurry up clearing the track in order to prioritise “the show”, and a red flag was deemed problematic because, by the time the race would have been able to be restarted, the circuit would have been too dark for anybody to see anything. Again, the problem wasn’t the flags itself, but rather the attitude that safety should be compromised by deliberately ignoring the correct procedures because they wanted to prioritise those more interested in “the show”.

        2. drivers were too busy disobeying yellow flags

          That’s the problem. Not this or that procedure. The FIA doesn’t give out meaningful penalties for blatant violations of the FIA Code because the commercial rights holder and teams don’t want it, and the FIA picks stewards who they know will play along with those unstated requests.

          The FIA and F1 don’t care about marshal safety. So if the price the race director has to pay for keeping these volunteers safe is being criticized for ‘ruining’ races, then hopefully viewers and fans – and especially the media figures who should know better – don’t forget who is ultimately to blame: the drivers.

          1. Agreed.

            A double waved yellow means “show down and be prepared to stop”. Few, if any, drivers slow down this much, meaning the FIA had to bring in a VSC to force the drivers to slow down to safe speeds…

  18. I see no problem with standing restarts after a red flag. I actually like it.

    I see a problem with unnecessary red flags, though. If this is a proper autosport event then we should go back to the pre-2020 red flag approach which is about barrier repairs and blocked track only.

    1. @f1mre Indeed, nothing was wrong with the general pre-2020 approach under which red-flagging was rare-ish & only limited to extreme situations.

  19. Kind of a dumb poll as the problem isn’t standing starts. The problem is red flagging a race for the entertainment value of the standing start. Red flag should be used maybe once every 5 years or something. Like when there is fire or a near fatal accident. Liberty is simply doing this to drive chaos and ratings.

    1. @darryn Indeed, like used to be the general approach pre-2020.

  20. I’m not a big fan of rolling starts generally. I tend to think the opposite of those who view standing starts as a bit of a lottery – I think a rolling start gives an unreasonable advantage to drivers in P1, P3 etc who don’t have to worry about a rival alongside them. I would rather see drivers fighting for position into turn one than running in single file.

    So I support the current system, where the presumption is that a standing start will be used as long as the track conditions make it safe to do so. Double-file restarts, though…

  21. The Dolphins
    15th April 2023, 22:11

    I’ve suggested multiple times in the past that restarts should be done under VSC. Drivers are constantly complaining about not being able to get tyre and brake temperatures up behind a safety car and with the introduction of a tyre blanket ban I can only see this being an even greater issue. The VSC should be used to neutralize the field in any full course caution and the gaps between drivers at that point would be used during restarts. No standing restarts, no waiting for the SC to pit, once the gaps are established via the drivers’ deltas it’s green flag.

    1. The introduction of tyre blanket ban will help tyre temperatures under SC/VSC. The tyres will be altered to operate (at least to an extent) at lower temperatures. Also drivers will have experience with cold tyres.

  22. As much as I get excited for the restarts they really are overdoing it and rather funnily they lead to more crashes as a result soo it’s hardly being done for safety. First lap or two yes, after that if there’s a red flag a rolling start as of from a safety car seems like the fairest and safest option .

    1. This is pretty much what I think. Allow a standing restart in the first two laps but after this, then a rolling start behind the safety car. It always used to work so why have they changed it apart from the ‘show’.

  23. Honestly, is it even worth discussing? FIA, endlessly and tirelessly manipulated by Liberty, will always come up with reasons why this is exactly what we need and what fans want. At the moment, they don’t even seem to notice that what they did in Australia was an error on their part. Their self-reflection has long been at sub-zero levels, overshadowed and ruled by pure greed.

  24. If it’s safe to start a race with a standing start, there’s no reason not to re-start a race with a standing start. If they’re so inherently unsafe and unpredictable as to ruin the racing, then all races should have a rolling start. Personally, I think standing re-starts are great fun as a spectator, and the start is the most exciting part of most races.

  25. I understand the desire for standing starts after red flags. The entertainment value is great. From a sporting point of view though, it’s just a bit too far for my liking. The most recent race is a great example. There was almost no point in running the grand prix. The only saving grace was that the result went back a lap but even then it just destroyed Alpine’s race which had been decent to that point. The result didn’t reflect the performance of the actual race which annoys me a bit. After having standing starts after red flags for a few years now, I think the novelty has worn off and I think going back to only within the first lap or 2 would be sensible.

    1. There was almost no point in running the grand prix.

      Why do you bother watching anything more than just the final lap of every GP, then?
      To see what happens and how it all happens, right? Nothing is void or useless just because it changes later on. That’s just how every race over a prescribed distance and/or time works.

      it just destroyed Alpine’s race which had been decent to that point.

      The Alpine drivers destroyed Alpine’s race. Nobody else to blame.

      The result didn’t reflect the performance of the actual race which annoys me a bit.

      Of course it did. The result was the perfect reflection of what happened during the race, because everything that lead to the result happened during the race.
      If you prefer a time trial with only one car on the track at a time, just say so. But if you want them to race – stuff will happen sometimes and competitors will affect each other’s results. That’s racing.

      1. A stupid answer I think. The restart would happen because there has been an incident in the race which might have involved one or more cars.

        A standing restart often just artificially creates another incident for no good reason. It won’t all the time I realise but a rolling restart is just safer.

        1. A standing restart often just artificially creates another incident for no good reason.

          A standing restart is just a part of the race. What drives do and how they mentally approach it is their problem.
          If they crash into each other or fly off the track – it is their driving at fault, not the restart.
          They aren’t children – drivers are completely responsible for their own actions.

          It seems to me that you are more upset about the standard of driving in F1 than anything else.
          With the exception of technical failure – crashes occur in motor racing because of driving choices, not because of the event format.
          It’s OK to admit that you don’t like standing restarts – but don’t try to make them out to be something they are not.

          1. A ‘standing restart’ is only “part of the race” as much as a corner is. It doesn’t make it a good or worthwhile thing, though. There’s corners so bad or pointless they’ve been removed from the sport and are not missed. Standing restarts will be the same.

  26. Grid starts are fun. F1 is entertainment. Simples!

    1. @dang F1 should be a SPORT before a show.

      The entertainment should come from the sport and if you need it to be an artificial gimmick ridden show to be entertained then clearly it was never something for you to begin with.

      F1 grew to the most popular series in MotorSport by been a SPORT, Turning it into an artificial show may create an initial boom but it will then lead to it’s decline as the long term more avid fans get turned away by the show over sport approach and artificial gimmicks and the casuals don’t stick around because they never do. Just look at what the approach F1 is on did to NASCAR & Indycar (As the IRL was all about copying NASCAR & creating a show via cheap spec cars and dangerous pack racing to create contrived drama).

  27. Doesn’t matter what the fans think, They will keep throwing red flags for the show and keep doing standing restarts for the show regardless of how much damage ends up been caused by them and they will keep bribing the teams by offering them more money to cover the damage that gets caused just like they did with the silly un-F1 sprint races.

    Liberty were always going to turn the sport into more of an artificial show because thats what American ‘sport’ tends to be, A gimmick ridden show that is a sport in name only which is aimed at those who love chaos and instant gratification rather than watching an actual sport that is more of a long game. It’s all about quantity rather than quality and getting those quick cheap pops and twitter mentions in the moment regardless of how immediately forgettable much of the ‘action’ tends to be.

    The SPORT of F1 that we knew & loved died at the end of 2017, The awful new logo Liberty introduced for 2018 was the start of the American show era of F1. Those of us who don’t like it will clearly just have to be shoved away from the sport we loved because Liberty clearly don’t give a hoot about any of us! Sad but ture!

    1. +1

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Bravo.

    2. The irony being American motorsport has moved away from declaring a safety car or red flag the moment anything potentially happens, something it used to be mocked a lot for. If anything, F1 seems to be going several lengths further then American motorsport even at their very worst.

  28. Very well said!

    Look what the ‘show’ did to 2021 for example?

    Pretty sure the ban on blankets is going to cause many more of the ‘standing starts’ designed for entertainment- all under the disguise of responsible climate and environmental concerns!

    Complete joke frankly given the ridiculous Pirelli control tyre era.

  29. If the result of this poll is what the modern Formula 1 fan really thinks, then I have good reason for why I don’t watch the ‘sport’ anymore.

    In a sport, resumption of play for interruptions to the actual contest being decided should not neuter the results of the previous period of play. When a team scores in football and an injury occurs, that goal is not stricken from the scorecard; why is it okay to wipe out a competitors advantage with a standing start that they rightfully earned during play?

    Passing immediately during rolling starts / safety car starts is much harder than during a standing start. It is simply unfair for the driver in P1 to be so neutered by a standing start when a rolling resumption is a time-honoured tradition acknowledging the position gained during the previous period of play.

    A standing restart turns the previous period of play into a glorified sprint qualifying.

  30. Whichever was used, I’d prefer it to be used in all scenarios.

    Consistency is more important to me. Especially when we’re trying to attract new viewers.

    Safety cars. Virtual safety cars. Red flags.
    Rolling start. Standing starts. Etc etc. It’s not great.

  31. Standing restarts should only be used if the race is red flagged in the first couple laps. Those who think they should be forced for any stoppage clearly haven’t thought through how ridiculous their choice is. I dare say they used to mock Indycar for sending out a safety car for any minor thing.

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