Formula 1

F1 drivers unhappy with new Safety Car restarts, says Ricciardo

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Daniel Ricciardo has claimed he and the other F1 drivers are unhappy at the proposed standing restarts after a Safety Car period, according to Autosport.

The new rule was ratified at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Munich last week and will be introduced in 2015. On Tuesday, the FIA officially explained how the concept will work and the scenarios when a standing restart will not be used.

These include if a Safety Car period is within the opening two laps or the race has less than five laps to run. Race Director Charlie Whiting can also call for a normal rolling restart if: "Conditions are unsuitable for a standing restart".

Disagreement

However, when asked by Autosport if the drivers had been consulted on the idea before it was given the go ahead from rule makers, Ricciardo admitted:  "We did, we all pretty much disagreed as far as I am aware.

"I will let the veteran drivers speak their minds. I said I don't think it is the best thing. We will see what other drivers say about it."

The Australian also said that he and other drivers were worried about the fairness and the safety of the idea.

"I don't want to go into it too much, but if you are leading the race by 20 seconds, the Safety Car comes out and you lose that 20 seconds advantage, then what was looking like an easy victory is still questionable.

"That is already a big disadvantage for the leader who has worked hard to build up that gap.

"To then put him on the start, and anything can happen at the starts, not only an accident, but you get a poor start you can be from first to fourth before Turn 1, it seems harsh on the leader."

Then on the issue of safety, Ricciardo spoke about tyres and how the way drivers would have to prepare them for a second standing start is much different than at the start of a race.

"If you cannot change them you will lose a lot of temperature. At first my argument was the big disadvantage for the leader, but the big one that everyone is talking about is safety.

"Starts in F1 are already quite tight a lot of the time and that is with new tyres, and tyre warmers.

"If we have tyres with 20 laps on them or even more, because when there is a lot of rubber that has been taken off the tyres, they don't hold temperature, it will be significantly more difficult."

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Greater research required

It is not only the drivers who have admitted further analysis of the rule will be needed, Pirelli have also expressed a need for greater research would be required to see how the idea would work.

Director of Motorsport Paul Hembery said that the Italian supplier would have to look into how the slow laps behind the Safety Car and then the wait for cars to line up on the grid would affect drivers on tyres at different stages of their life cycle.

And on a mechanical level he said teams would also have to consider the temperatures of the cars again because of the slow running and then the period at standstill.

McLaren's Jenson Button, the longest serving driver currently on the grid, said that while the tyres and other factors would have to be considered, the idea is a good one for fans.

"I think it is great for the fans, it puts on a great show, and the start is an exciting part to the race," he said.

"The thing is though that when you start a race you have new tyres, so you could find yourself with five laps to go, six laps to go and your tyres are almost bald already - and you need flat out laps to keep heat in them.

"So you will struggle off the line and it will be tricky for all of us to keep the car pointing in the same direction off the start.

"It could cause mayhem. It will make for better TV but there perhaps needs to be a rule about the tyres."

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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