The idea to introduce standing restarts to Formula One came after discussions between McLaren and Charlie Whiting, the FIA Race Director has himself revealed.
From 2015, standing restarts from the grid will be introduced into Formula One following safety car periods, in an effort to increase the spectacle of the sport.
While the idea has received resoundingly negative feedback from fans, as well as a number of drivers, Whiting has admitted that the original idea for the rule change came following discussions between himself and McLaren on how to improve the F1 show.
“Standing restart is something that I was involved in personally,” Whiting revealed in an interview with the Sochi International Circuit website. “I was talking to someone at McLaren and we came up with this idea how to make this show a bit better.
“When you watch a race, what is the most exciting part of the race? The start. So, why not have a second one? It makes sense.”
While Whiting noted that the rule had angered some fans, he rubbished any idea that standing restarts could be dangerous.
“Of course, it offends some people because it’s not pure racing,” he added. “It’s been done for the show.
“I understand why some people might think it’s too false as it’s not what normally happens. But why not? I can’t see any downside to it.
“Some people were even silly enough to say it’s dangerous. Well, if it’s dangerous, you wouldn’t even have the start of the race, would you?
Whiting remains confident that the rule change will provide greater excitement following the deployment of a safety car, in place of what he deems the dull current rolling restart system.
“It will provide more excitement; you seldom get any changes of position at a rolling restart, so this might provide an opportunity for changes in position,” he noted. “Some drivers may be worried of losing their lead, but then again other drivers might get a chance to gain something from it.”
“I think it’s an interesting idea,” he concluded. “It’s been approved. Now we’ve got to work on making it work.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic