What Is a Standing Start in F1?

Published 06/07/2021, 10:04 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 General view of the cars on the grid as the race is restarted REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


Back in 2018, the FIA put forward an idea to introduce standing restarts in F1. It didn’t take long for the rule to pass, but it wasn’t until 2019 that the procedure was used for the first time. The most recent use came at the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix after Max Verstappen crashed out. At that time, the red flag was thrown, and the race was suspended with three laps to go.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Unlike in NASCAR or IndyCar, where the cars are in motion, F1 cars are stationary on their grid slots. It is worth mentioning that this rule is only applicable after a red flag situation. Previously, after a red flag, the safety car would come out and the cars would run behind it until the FIA gave the green light.

WATCH STORY: From Spice Girls to Earth Livery: Top 5 F1 Car Launches of All Time

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Now, the new rules suggest that the cars will line up on the grid, just like a normal race start. Then, once the lights go out, the race resumes as normal. The only difference is that the number of cars will be less than usual, depending on the circumstances.

Why does F1 use a standing start?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Of course, one has to wonder why Formula 1 does not go back to the rolling start procedure. The simple answer was that many complained of being robbed of an exciting restart, especially in wet conditions. However, there is also the fact that standing starts are a lot safer, largely due to the higher acceleration speeds.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action at the start of the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

In the event of a rolling start, there is a chance for a chunk of wheel spin, which could send a car out of control. Coupled with the speed of the safety car, it is difficult to ascertain when to begin accelerating, which may lead to chaos. Last year’s race in Mugello highlighted this very issue when a few cars got taken out at the start line.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

For now, it appears that Formula One will stick to this new system.

DIVE DEEPER

What are Black Flags in F1 and Has a Driver Ever Been Black Flagged?

almost 2 years ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Dhruv George

11998 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT