The FIA conducted a test of Formula 1’s new standing restart procedure at the end of Tuesday’s Barcelona running, with Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Haas and Williams choosing to participate.
This year, races will feature standing starts after safety car periods, with cars forming up on the grid once the safety car has returned to the pits.
As part of the procedure, light panels around the track will display an ‘SS’ message, teams will be informed with a ‘STANDING START’ message via the official messaging system and the orange lights on the safety car will be extinguished.
There is also an option for an ‘RS’ or ‘ROLLING START’ message if conditions are not suitable for a grid start.
The FIA does not have its light panels in Spain, but Tuesday’s test was mainly to check software and ensure that drivers were receiving the correct messages on their dashboards.
Further tests will take place at the end of track action on Wednesday and Thursday.
Tuesday’s test provided the drivers with a first opportunity to attempt a grid start on old and cold tyres, which will be the case in races this season.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen reported that he struggled for grip.
“This surface needs a lot of temperature,” said Magnussen
“The restart stuff we did at the end was impossible. We couldn’t have done that in a race.
“I couldn’t get my tyres to work at all – I could barely get going.”
The issue of tyres, in particular the complication of having cars with rubber with widely differing levels of remaining grip, was one of the key objections from teams when restarts were first mooted.