Drivers share views on standing restart proposal
It is understood that the plan - aimed at improving the spectacle of the sport – was approved by the F1 Commission and will now be sent to the FIA World Motor Sport Council for ratification before it can be added to the 2015 regulations.
The potential new system would mean lapped cars are able to unlap themselves before the pack would reform on the grid in the same style as a normal race start.
On the Friday and Saturday of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, a number of drivers have spoken about the proposal. Romain Grosjean is not a fan.
“To be 100% honest I am not a big fan of that,” he said. “When you are leading the race and you get a safety car, it is already quite hard and you lose all of your advantage. If it is a restart, I don’t know if they are going to change tyres or not.
“If they don’t, safety is going to be tricky because the tyres may be very old and cold, so if they do change, then the idea is to stay out until the safety car. I don’t know. I think we need to improve the show but maybe in a different way.”
Maldonado also commented: “It depends which point of view you have. When you are at the back, for sure it is better, and when you are at the front, for sure it is not good enough. It is the same for everyone.”
Nico Rosberg is also against the planned rule change. “Has it been proposed? Yes? That sounds very extreme,” the German said. “I understand that the start is one of the most exciting times for the fans, but that sounds very extreme so I hope it is not going to be done, because that is going too far with things.”
His team-mate Lewis Hamilton hadn’t heard of the proposal before being asked about it, but said drivers should be involved more in what changes are made to the sport.
When asked if it will make the racing more exciting, Daniel Ricciardo replied: “Is it happening? Proposed for next year? I don’t think so. Maybe more exciting because there is a bit more variability with the standing start. But, for me, that is a bit too artificial.
“I think if you are leading the race by 10 seconds, you lose your advantage that you have built up, but at least you keep your position. But you still do lose something. If it goes to a standing start, the chance of having not a great start is pretty high, so you could go from first to even fourth. It is just a bit too much of a disadvantage basically for someone who obviously had the lead in the first place.
“I think they can find something better. Single file restarts are not too bad; at least it bunches everyone up. I don’t think it is too bad how it is. For the spectator’s, it would be better, yes, but probably not the most fair idea.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.