Wolff: "Even F1 fans don't like reversed grid races"


Wolff: "Even F1 fans don't like reversed grid races"

F1 team principals discussed the idea last week of running reversed-grid qualifying sprints at the second of double-header events this year as a way of making the repeat races more exciting.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose team have won the last two races in Austria, had backed the reverse grid proposal and said Formula One had a ideal opportunity to experiment.

Mercedes, however, have told Sky Sports that their reasons for vetoing the proposals are long-held, and that "we don't believe F1 needs gimmicks to make it attractive".

A proposal to introduce reverse-grid races in F1 2020 is unlikely to be accepted due to opposition from Mercedes, says Christian Horner on the F1 Show.

The proposed idea sought to replace the usual qualifying format with a 30-minute race to decide the grid for Sunday's grand prix, with the starting order of the qualifying race on Saturday being dictated by reverse championship order.

"First of all, we seem to be digging out old ideas that have been diligently analysed and have been rejected for some good reasons", defined Wolff in an interview which airs in the beginning of Wednesday's Sky F1 Vodcast, which you'll be able to watch later tonight.

"One of those reasons is that we know it from touring vehicle racing that strategy games are the name of the game, and if you know that you're not in a great position on the weekend before, you may decide to DNF a auto and start the next weekend on pole".

"So you need to look at the reasons why we were against it, and there's three fundamental reasons".

The Coronavirus has decimated the first half of the campaign with postponed grands prix and cancellations, and a revised eight-race calendar to start the season was announced on Tuesday.

The ending positions of that race would then set the grid for Sunday's GP. There will be cars in the middle that will defend and block as much as they can and, therefore, for the cars coming from behind, there will be more risk for a DNF and that could influence the championship. Best man in best machine wins. And then, from a pure performance standpoint, whoever has the faster auto, not necessarily us, will be penalized towards the second- and third-quickest teams, because they will simply start in front.

"So, yes, it was us; we said this is not the time to experiment with things that, interestingly, didn't even have the support of the Formula 1 fans' community, because in a survey only 15 percent expressed an interest in reverse grids".

'We want to make sure they [the ideas] are not gimmicks.

"We'll continue to look at ideas. The surroundings might be a little different, but I think the competition is going to be just as fierce and everybody's going to be focused on what's going on on track".

"But I think we'll continue [talks] but it won't be unique to this".

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