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Brawn: Monza proved case for reverse grids

NEWS STORY
07/09/2020

In his latest post-race summary for the official F1 website, Ross Brawn argues that yesterday's Italian Grand Prix should cause the sport to seriously consider the idea of reverse grids.

As part of their desire to repackage F1 and attract a younger audience, the powers that be have been considering all manner of ideas.

Along with the budget cap and a more equal distribution of prize money, F1's bosses have been arguing the case for adapting the race weekend format and introducing reverse grids in a bid to provide uncertainty and add some much needed spice, particularly at those tracks known for producing processional races.

At a time the sport basks in the warm glow that followed yesterday's race, which essentially saw the event turned on its head and resulted in a podium nobody could have predicted, Brawn argues that the sport should give serious consideration to the idea of reverse grids.

"Monza was a candidate for a reverse grid sprint race when we were considering testing the format this year," he told the official F1 website. "Unfortunately, we could not move forward with it, but the concept is still something we and the FIA want to work through in the coming months and discuss with the teams for next year.

"We believe that yesterday’s race showed the excitement a mixed-up pack can deliver and with next year’s cars remaining the same as this year - our fans could be treated to the similar drama we saw this weekend at Monza.

"Of course, with a reverse grid sprint race, teams will set their cars up differently," he added. "Right now, Mercedes set their cars up to achieve the fastest lap and then to control the race from the front. If they know they have to overtake, they will have to change that approach.

"We will continue to evaluate new formats with the aim of improving the show but always maintaining the DNA of Formula 1."

Of course, one of the reasons F1 could not move forward with it, is because the idea wasn't popular with fans, drivers or the teams.

Furthermore, yesterday's "mixed-up pack" and the resultant "excitement" was due to a number of totally unforeseen circumstances that came about, as opposed to a situation deliberately created in order manipulate the desired effect.

Much like those epic races that result from a sudden rain shower, or, better still, rapidly changing conditions, a reverse grid is essentially using sprinklers to artificially create the desired outcome.

What made yesterday's race so entertaining was that it was spontaneous and not manufactured.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monza, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Great_white_shark, 08/09/2020 21:15

"@editor
In almost every company you have some sort of overpaid pencil-pushers that have to come up with ideas to justify their salary and this seems like an extremely easy/lazy idea to put forward to your bosses and sound like a genius. I have the feeling if Brawn was not in the role he is in now, he would be against the idea but unfortunately he puts himself before the sport. "

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by RP, 08/09/2020 19:50

"Ross Brawn seemed to answer a question when he said "...the idea wasn't popular with the fans, drivers or the teams."
Hard to add to that. Who is left that thought it was a great idea? Ross?
It did make the race more interesting, mainly to see how far up Hamilton could get and he was very impressive, indeed.
Maybe, the fans, drivers and teams would like to see races where innovation is not stifled and regulations evolve to restrain anyone who gets an edge. Oh wait, would that be the blown diffuser, Ross? "

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3. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 08/09/2020 16:59

"If you want to do a reverse grid, you must give points in Qualifying for the fastest team to penalized to back of the grid. If not, every team will be sandbagging it to be up front."

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 08/09/2020 14:03

"A very silly idea from someone who as Mr Editor has indicated is more a mouthpiece for da Management than the respected guru of yore.

I very much doubt that he would have countenanced this idea when his Ferrari team was cock o' the walk, nor when Brawn F1 had a huge advantage over the rest.
I appreciate that I'm just anothjer old fuddy-duddy who remembers when 'racing' involved driving more-or-less flat-out start to finish, not spending 75% of the race 'managing the tyres'. I don't relish Liberty's priorities which seem to be largely Marketing, Presentation & (understandably) profit for themselves.
I've no argument with F1 being profitable, when it results from excellence, not artificially 'spicing-up' F1.

In my very long F1 fandonm those who won consistently did so becuase they (collectively, as a Team) excelled. They were better than the competition running on the same tracks, to the same rules. That is the definition of "Sport" in this context. Everything else is showbiz.

"

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5. Posted by alvarezh3, 08/09/2020 13:19

"Someone please correct me if I am wrong. This is a sporting issue, not a safety one, right? If so, I believe the FIA cannot unilaterally modify the race procedure without the consent of the teams.

By nature, there are two teams with the ability to reach the podium and probably a third that will on occasion also have the chance. Mercedes has already declared against going to the back of the grid, which other team of the leading pack would be willing to go along and be placed in the rear of the grid after they have produced a front leading car?

It looks to me that this -reverse grid- race will be very difficult to be ever approved."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by kenji, 08/09/2020 12:22

"The race on Sunday was better than most of the boring processions.There are not many variables. A clinical assessment would suggest that if you have one team, totally dominant for 6 years, then the so called convergence is utter BS. It is a no brainer that if you have the outright fastest car start from P1 they're going to blast off and win at a canter. No troublesome attacks and race control from the front. This has been demonstrated ad nauseum over the past 6 years.What reverse grids would do is make the job of driving the fastest car that bit more difficult when navigating their way through. Now that can't be too bad considering the farce that we have been facing for too long. It should be tried. At least it would give us a few races to gauge what it's like. Why do you think that Wolff was against trying it? He was for once faced with some real challenges to their exalted place. That tells you something. If Wolff is running scared then it can't be all bad!!!"

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7. Posted by Tudor, 08/09/2020 12:01

"Reading the comments, I knew it, people enjoy watching the fastest car start first and pull away.

But it's normal, these are the only fans that are left, a normal person would change channel after 10 laps of seeing Hamilton/Vettel/Alonso/Schumacher pulling away."

Rating: Negative (-3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by Editor, 08/09/2020 9:47

"@ C5

He's not an idiot, far from it, but sadly he has become a Yes Man/PR man for Liberty, the 'fan friendly' face for Chase Carey.

The most annoying thing is when he congratulates the sport's owners for the fantastic job they're doing... he works for them, what else is he going to say?

He really has taken the Liberty shilling."

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9. Posted by C5, 08/09/2020 9:32

"Me: Monza proves Brawn is an idiot.

Again he draws wrong conclusions based on faulty data, as several comments below also points out."

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10. Posted by trackrecords, 08/09/2020 8:51

"If you must have a reverse grid race why not have it a 20 lap sprint and the cars set up specifically for it, with all the toys turned-up to 11? In effect, a Formula Ford race with F1 cars."

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11. Posted by Nortim, 08/09/2020 8:50

"No, it didn't not prove it."

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12. Posted by nmw01223, 08/09/2020 5:31

"The big difference between planned reverse grids (or similar) and what happened on Sunday is unpredictability - no-one knew that would happen, so they couldn't plan to it. The same is true when there have been set races that have mixed up the result. If it is known that a particular mechanism - say reverse grids - is to be used on a particular day, then all those clever strategists will be working out ways of maximising it. What is needed to be built in somehow is not specific 'mix it up' mechanisms, but unpredictability. To put it quantitatively, the signal to noise ratio is to high at the moment - one needs less signal, more noise."

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13. Posted by Great_white_shark, 07/09/2020 20:18

"The fans always hated the artificial aspect of a DRS overtake and now they want to have reverse grids with more meaningless overtakes just for the sake of it? They are completely disconnected from the fans. There is little excitement in watching Hamilton overtaking Latiffi for me personally. What about the tracks where overtaking is almost impossible? Leave gimmicks out of the so-called pinnacle of Motorsport if that is still what F1 is supposed to be "

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14. Posted by Barslug, 07/09/2020 17:41

"I wasn’t aware Ross Brawn was a Williams fan.
"

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15. Posted by Young Slinger, 07/09/2020 16:17

"So, "party mode" which is used to help overtaking as well, is removed thus making the overtake more difficult and adds to the frustration of drivers and then recommend reverse grids to encourage said overtaking? Sorry Ross, I have the utmost respect for you, your ability and achievements, but this is totally wrong for the alleged pinnacle of motor sport. Surely the best drivers in the best cars flat out, without all these phoney changes to "make it more interesting" will be better. Let the drivers race, as it use to be, no restrictions on fuel, tyres, engine modes, pit stops etc. etc. Let teams help others if they want to. "

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