Keith over at F1 Fanatic has decided to run a poll for whether compulsory pit stops should be introduced and the result is pretty conclusive.
The result is currently running at 86% saying drivers should NOT be forced to pit (out of some 2315 votes).
I was somewhat surprised and pleased at the one sided nature of the result. It’s been clear to me for many years (and I’ve bored plenty of people about it too!) that refuelling is bad and flexible strategy is good. Sadly I doubt anyone will notice.
By forcing drivers to use a specific strategy (even if just through requiring them to use 2 compounds ot tyres), the FIA are reducing the variation in options, reducing driver choice and making things more predicatable and less exciting. There’s nothing worse than the refuelling era “we’ll hold station after the final stops” mentality which guarantees nothing happens at the end of the race unless it rains.
Pre-refuelling ban (with flexible tyre options), there were some cracking finishes to races – Jerez 1986, Silverstone 1987, Mexico 1990 being 3 that spring to mind. All of them were because of competing strategies of the tortoise vs hare. One driver on hard tyres eeking them out, another putting on a fresh set of boots and going for it.
Click the link to vote: