The controversial rule change, undoubtedly designed to spice up the ‘show’, was agreed by the decision-making F1 Commission recently but only rubber-stamped by the World Motor Sport Council in Munich on Thursday.
The change has split opinions within the paddock, with many believing the idea of mid-race grid starts is too “artificial”, or compromising safety for spectacle.
“I guess it’s maybe a bit more exciting because there’s a bit more variability with the standing start,” said Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, arguing that a grid restart could unfairly punish the race leader because it is less predictable than the current safety car procedure.
“I don’t think it’s that bad how it is (now),” said the Australian. “For spectators, it would be better for a standing start but it’s probably not the most fair idea.”
Fernando Alonso, however, is ambivalent, recalling that kart races are often restarted from the grid.
“I did both and it makes no difference, I think, to me,” the Spaniard is quoted by Britain’s Sky. “I don’t have any preference.”