Hot on the heels of exhaust trumpets and titanium sparks, the latest radical Formula 1 innovation “to improve the show” has now emerged in the Red Bull Ring paddock.
Multiple authoritative sources are reporting that, at last week’s Formula 1 Commission meeting, it was agreed that standing re-starts will spice up the show from 2015.
Currently, after the customary grid start at the beginning of the race, Safety Car periods are followed by a rolling re-start.
But, in an atmosphere of soul-searching within the Red Bull Ring paddock this weekend, it emerges that it has been agreed that mid-race standing re-starts would inject more excitement back into the sport.
“On the other hand it increases the accident risk and [therefore] the cost,” said one early critic, Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt.
A higher-profile doubter is none other than world champion Sebastian Vettel, who thinks it is not fair that a race leader risks losing his lead in a mid-race standing re-start.
“It’s bad enough that you lose your advantage,” said the German, “but with the new rule you could lose places with a bad start, or even get knocked around by other cars.”
Mercedes Team Chairman Niki Lauda is also disappointed that the Formula 1 Commission voted the change through for 2015.
“They didn’t ask questions,” said the Austrian. “Like what happens if someone raises his hand at the re-start because his engine has stalled?”
And former driver turned British commentator Martin Brundle added: “It will be incredibly difficult for drivers to find the right place on the grid.
“There will be no reference points like the grid girl with your name, so if you find yourself in the wrong spot or on the wrong side of the grid, it’s chaos,” he warned. (GMM)