Daniel Ricciardo has become the first driver to publicly criticise standing restarts, which will come into effect in next year’s Formula 1 sporting regulations.
The decision was rubber-stamped by the FIA World Motor Sport Council after receiving approval from the F1 Commission, a 26-member panel comprising the sport’s 11 teams; eight race promoters; the FIA; FOM (represented by Bernie Ecclestone); engine, tyre, and fuel suppliers; plus major sponsors.
It has been met with resounding disapproval among the media and fans worldwide, who have criticised the shortsightedness of the FIA in its continual focus on gimmicks instead of addressing serious issues such as cost-capping.
Perhaps not surprisingly, it was Ricciardo who bit the bullet. Speaking ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, the Australian expressed his opposition to the idea, while also revealing that a majority of this year’s drivers were against the idea when it was put to them.
“We all pretty much disagreed as far as I’m aware,” the Red Bull Racing driver said.
“I don’t think it’s the best thing, but we’ll see what others say.”
Ricciardo added that the regulation change added in unnecessary unknowns into the race, and that the very notion was a significant penalty to the then race leader.
“You can be leading the race by 20 seconds, the Safety Car comes out and you lose the advantage [you had],” he added. “What was looking like a comfortable victory is questionable. So that’s ]already] a big disadvantage for the leader, who has worked very hard to build up that gap.
“Now to put them in a standing restart… anything can happen at the starts, not only an accident but if you get a poor start you can go from first to fourth before Turn 1 just like that. I just think it’s harsh on the leader.”
We couldn’t agree more, Daniel!
Image via XPB Images