Whiting: McLaren sparked standing restarts
14 July 2014 – Charlie Whiting has revealed that a discussion with McLaren resulted in the concept of standing restarts.
The regulation, to be introduced next season, will see drivers form up on the grid after Safety Car periods, so long as more than two laps have passed since the start – or a restart – and there are over five laps remaining.
Whiting, the FIA's Race Director, says he had been looking at ways of making the sport more exciting and appealing to fans with a member of the Woking-based outfit when the idea arose.
"I was talking to someone at McLaren and we came up with this idea of how to make the show a bit better," Whiting explained during an interview with the official Russian Grand Prix website.
"When you watch a race, what is the most exciting part? The start. So, why not have a second one?"
Whiting shunned concerns that additional standing starts will make the sport more dangerous.
"If it's dangerous, you wouldn't even have the start of the race, would you?" Whiting argued.
"I can't see any downside to it. It will provide more excitement; you seldom get any changes of position at a rolling restart, so this might provide an opportunity for changes in position. Some drivers may be worried about losing their lead, but then again other drivers might get a chance to gain something from it.
"I think it's an interesting idea. It's been approved. Now we've got to work on making it work."