The idea of imposing a two-stop requirement for Formula One in 2014, mooted last week, appears to be just that: an idea that won’t be implemented.
Autosport reported Tuesday that teams are outright rejecting the proposal. It would have needed unanimous support from the 11 teams to be implemented this late in the year.
Implementing two in a race could present something of a slippery slope for F1. One is required anyway due to the requirements of running both of Pirelli’s prime and option tire over the course of a Grand Prix, but as we’ve seen in some instances this year, Austin in particular, that’s led to dreary and processional races.
Two could open up the idea whereby a driver at the back of the field, for example, could make both of his pit stops within say, the first six laps or so and be good to the regulations. It could include further tire saving in an effort to go the remaining distance.
However it would penalize opportunities for drives, though, such as Paul di Resta’s at the Canadian Grand Prix this year, who went 56 laps on Pirelli’s prime tire, the medium, before a switch to supersofts for the duration. Under the new idea, he’d need to pit twice in that remaining distance, and thereby lose any advantage he’d have gained by running that long a first stint to begin with. Of course, knowing he’d need to pit twice anyway, he probably wouldn’t plan to run that long in the first stint.
What the two-stop proposal would more likely do down the road is set up designated pit windows, thereby removing any strategic element of the race with cars needing to stop anywhere from say, laps 19-22 in the first cycle and 28-32 in the second.
The mandatory window cycle was used in the CART series, the precursor to IndyCar, in the early 2000s but met little critical support. It reared its ugly head most at the water-logged Surfers’ Paradise race in 2002, when several cars needed to pit for a mandatory second stop three laps before the race was declared finished, and Mario Dominguez was declared the race winner despite starting 18th and last and not passing a single car on track. All overtakes were done in the pits.