Ecclestone says F1 to scrap 2015 grid restarts (Update)

UPDATE (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone says F1 will abandon its highly controversial plan for standing re-starts after safety car periods from 2015.

In Hungary, reportedly alarmed with the sport's dwindling spectator and television appeal, the F1 supremo met with team bosses.

But Ecclestone denied it was resolved that Flavio Briatore was the key to a more popular future for the sport.

"We do not need Flavio. We can do it ourselves," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

The publication said there are rumors a popularity taskforce will instead be headed by Christian Horner, Toto Wolff, Luca di Montezemolo and Vijay Mallya.

Ecclestone said the priority is some "fine tuning" rather than radical moves, as he said the "incredible race" in Hungary showed that F1 is not fundamentally broken.

"There just shouldn't be the stupid and unnecessary rules that we've put in over the years," said the 83-year-old.

"I want a world championship of drivers, not engineers.

"We have already told the stewards that they should not punish every little thing. I want drivers who race each other rather than constantly ask what they can and cannot do," said Ecclestone.

The biggest news on Tuesday is that one rule already printed in black and white in the 2015 regulations looks set to be axed.

"There will be no standing starts after safety cars," announced the diminutive Briton. "What we saw in Budapest was good enough."

07/11/14 FIA race director Charlie Whiting says the idea to introduce standing restarts following safety car periods came from himself and McLaren.

Standing restarts will be introduced from 2015 onwards after the proposal was approved by the World Motor Sport Council [WMSC]. While Daniel Ricciardo indicated that many drivers were against the idea, Whiting has revealed that he personally helped instigate the new regulation after discussing it with McLaren.

"Standing restart is something that I was involved in personally," Whiting said in an interview with the Russian Grand Prix website. "I was talking to someone at McLaren and we came up with this idea how to make this show a bit better. When you watch a race, what is the most exciting part of the race? The start. So, why not have a second one? It makes sense."

Whiting added that he understands why some people are against the idea but believes the benefits of added excitement outweigh any concerns.

"Of course, it offends some people because it's not pure racing. It's been done for the show. Some people were even silly enough to say it's dangerous. Well, if it's dangerous, you wouldn't even have the start of the race, would you? I understand why some people might think it's too false as it's not what normally happens. But why not? 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 of 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."

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