New wet standing start procedure proposed by F1 Strategy Group


2016 British Grand Prix - Start - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd
2016 British Grand Prix - Start - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

After complaints from several drivers following the wet start to the British Grand Prix, where drivers found themselves following the safety car for six laps, the new principles of standing starts in wet conditions have been decided on by the F1 Strategy Group.

This new system is highly likely to be implemented immediately, following complaints from drivers and fans alike who felt that they had been robbed of a decent start.

The new procedure, as suggested by team managers earlier this week, is that in wet conditions, drivers will follow as Safety car for only a few laps, and then, rather than the Safety car ‘coming in’ and the race starting from that point, the driver will be expected to come back to their original grid position and start the race as normal.

However, although at this point unofficial, the suggestion is that the drivers will not be allowed to drive into the pits before the standing start and change to intermediate tyres, but instead everyone will start the race on wet tyres. It seems that after one racing lap they will be allowed to change tyres.

Despite the current start procedures being laid out in the regulations, there is rumour that this new starting procedure will be changed without the need for rewriting the rules. However, this is not yet certain, as there is the possibility that the FIA may find it necessary to officially change the rules, meaning that the new procedure will need to be voted for by the F1 Commission and the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

When asked by motorsport.com about the new proposed wet standing starts, Lewis Hamilton commented that: “It could be quite good. In Silverstone 2008 we started in the wet, and it was heavy.

“I think we were on intermediates, but it was still pretty wet. A wet start is exciting, just as exciting as a dry start, if not more. I’m all for that.”

Another proposal put forwards by the Strategy Group was that from 2017 onwards, in order to stop teams from gaining an unfair advantage, that no work is allowed to be carried out on the cars during race suspensions.