Originally Posted by TWRv12
There has to something seriously wrong for there to be so many stalled cars on the grid. Could blame the drivers if happened on the odd occasion, but it happens alot more than that.
There are various issues:
1) the mandatory clutch is a sintermetalic clutch, which if seeing too much heat will cause the frictionplates to stick, hence the clutch will not disengage anymore, if called to do so. Then a gearbox protection mode will not allow you to engage first or any other gears. That is catching some of the less experienced drivers out
2) the byte point of the clutch is changing in function of heat (drivers doing a practice start on the formation lap to feel where the clutch bites and not finding the point at the race start, because it has moved due to the heat in the clutch... and stalling)
3) antistall strategy (if improperly set by the team) causing a delay in getting into 1st gear after having called for and staying with neutral when the red lights go off.
4) engine water and oil temperatures too high when waiting at the startline, causing the engine ecu to go into protection mode. Everybody is using dryice on the dummy grid too keep the temps down. If people exagerate the cooling procedures the ecu goes into protection mode as well...
5) reliability of the clutch position sensor causing the engineers to set the clutch paddle incorrectly
5) high flywheel wear and some teams possibly not changing the flywheel causing a very harsh engagment of the clutch causing stalling.
Often the teams deal with various of these problems simultaniously
It is a major job to keep the car in the correct operating window at the start, and you basically spend much more time than with any other cars (except F1)to deal with the starting procedure.
Some teams have it more under control than others, and some drivers have more brains than others to deal with this delicate situation... It is really not easy.
Next year there will at least be a carbonfibre clutch.
Sorry to be that technical, but that is the way it is.