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Race director Charlie Whiting does not share the concerns raised by drivers and fans about standing starts after safety car periods, which are set to be introduced in 2015.
But his comments won't inspire a great deal of confidence, as it seemed like he'd just been sent out by his bosses to defend the idea.
Speaking to the media before the British Grand Prix, he said (h/t Autosport):
I have heard some drivers express concerns but I think we can allay those fears.
There were two things drivers were concerned about—one was fairness and that being a leader he is more likely to lose his lead from a standing start than a rolling start. But whether that is true or not, I am not quite sure.
Then, I think there were some concerns about worn tyres with starting from standing starts. But what you have to remember is that until you get to the point of a standing start, the safety car procedure will be exactly the same as before.
So if you are on worn tyres, any driver on worn tyres is very likely to pit anyway. They do it now so there is no reason why they would not do it under those new rules.
It's curious he says he isn't sure if a driver is more likely to lose a lead from a standing start. Whiting has been the FIA's race director since 1997, and one imagines he has seen every standing race start and rolling restart since then.
Surely he knows a pole-sitter often loses his lead, while a race leader at a rolling start loses it only once in a blue moon (or once per solar cycle, if a more accurate astronomical timescale is required)?
On the subject of worn tyres, there's a good reason a driver, or the entire field, may not pit before a restart—track position. If it's late in the race, there's a critical choice to be made—either tough it out on the used rubber, or pit and drop to last.
He went on to give an equally disappointing, confusing answer regarding the possibility of more crashes occurring.
Of course, you are more likely statistically to have incidents at standing starts than at any other time in the race. But no driver wants that to happen and no driver will cause it to happen. I don't believe there is any added risk personally.
The many drivers and fans opposed to the idea are unlikely to be convinced by such awkward, toe-the-party-line responses.