In a meeting prior to the Formula One season finale in Abu Dhabi, all 11 team principles reportedly agreed to bring standing restarts to the grid for the 2017 race season in hopes that it “spices the show up.” If introduced, that means each restart would look just like the start of an F1 race.
Autosport reports that team principles met with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone on Saturday prior to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, proposing to introduce the standing restarts in order to keep fans tuned in. The series currently does rolling restarts once safety cars pull off of the circuit. The report said every principle agreed to the idea “given the start of the race is the most watched part of a broadcast.” A search could not verify that statement.
The fine details of the idea weren’t decided upon in the meeting, according to Autosport. Standing restarts would need to be approved by both the F1 Strategy Group and the F1 Commission before going to the World Motor Sport Council, which has a meeting on Nov. 30.
That shouldn’t be a problem, given that NBC Sports reports the council already approved the idea for the 2015 season. According to NBC Sports, the idea was “rolled back” after its approval for that year. That version of the idea mandated the standing restarts not to be used within two laps of the start or any restarts, or if the race had less than five laps remaining.
Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner told Autosport that a standstill start “spices the show up and that’s a good thing.” According to NBC Sports, the series already approved a plan for standing starts under rainy conditions like the Brazil race had earlier in November—if the race starts under a safety car due to rain, cars would line up on the grid for a standing start once the safety car pulls off.
Standing restarts would take extra time to set up and could feel less authentic in the middle of a race, but hey, it’s a better way to gain interest than making fans think their favorite driver died in a wreck.