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FIA looking at 'wet starts'

NEWS STORY
29/07/2016

Following this week's meeting of the Strategy Group, the FIA is looking at the possibility of the return of wet starts in 2017.

In recent years, when conditions were such that poor weather conditions compromised safety, it has become the norm to start the race behind the safety car.

For purists, fans and drivers, this was considered sacrilege as the start is without doubt one of the most exciting moments of an entire race weekend.

However, whilst the move was understandable in extreme conditions, it has become the norm to start the race behind the Safety Car when it was merely wet and then, as witnessed at Silverstone, leave it out too long.

In the wake of increasing criticism, the Strategy Group discussed the matter in Geneva and the FIA is to look into the possibility of wet starts returning next season.

"It will need the unanimous support of all the teams and I'm expecting that to happen," Charlie Whiting told reporters at a media briefing in Hockenheim.

"There are a few things to consider when we talk about having a standing re-start," he continued. "You need to think about race length, for example, and how many laps shorter it is; what happens if you suspend a race after the start; there are a few things that need to be thought through carefully so we don't have any own goals."

However, Whiting was keen to point out that he was talking about re-starts, in other words rather than, as at present, the Safety Car pulling off when it is considered safe to do so, the field would stop on the grid and the race be re-started.

"The only thing that we're thinking of changing is having a standing re-start when it's safe to have a re-start," he said.

"It will always be a matter of opinion," he admitted. "We listen to the drivers. We know that in Silverstone, for example, all the cars were set up for dry conditions. We know that the drivers don't like driving on the wet weather tyres, they don't have such a tread depth and then they start aquaplaning - these are all the things we had to take into account.

"We know that driving in the wet is not easy, but it never has been and there is no suggestion that we're doing it for any other reason than to try and make sure that the drivers don't aquaplane. In Silverstone for instance, even the Safety Car was aquaplaning, that's not safe, it's as simple as that. If the cars can drive on full throttle on a straight then that normally is an indication that it's safe to continue."

If the FIA does go ahead with this, it will go before the F1 Commission and then the World Motor Sport Council.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by F One, 30/07/2016 9:40

"And the reason they can't just change it right now is?? Bunch of morons."

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