Strategy Group to discuss reverse grids


Whilst Sebastian Vettel might have topped the timesheets in Barcelona today, Lewis Hamilton's 156 trouble-free laps will have sent a shiver through Bernie Ecclestone, CVC and many others.

It's early days, but already it is clear that Mercedes remains the benchmark.

Consequently, when the controversial Strategy Group meets in Geneva tomorrow, events taking place in Spain might well influence a move that might push some fans just a little too far.

In the quest to 'spice up' the sport, Bernie Ecclestone's proposal of reversed grids is to be discussed, and if successful could be introduced in time for Melbourne.

"We need more competitive racing," the F1 supremo told the Daily Mail. "I would keep qualifying as it is. The guy who is quickest would still have his number of poles recorded for history. But then he could start, say, tenth based on his pole and where he stands in the championship. We are looking at exactly how we could do it.

"The guy who is third fastest in qualifying would start, say seventh or eighth. That is better than totally reversed grids because all you get with them is the man at the back getting past the slower guys at the start of the race. This way makes it competitive between guys of similar speed. It won't be easy to get past people.

"The big thing is that it would create debate," he insists. "I would say, 'I think the pole man will win for this reason or that'. You say, 'No, I think so-and-so will win because...' That's what we need. I don't know if we can get it through in time. We'll see."

Speaking to reporters in Spain, Christian Horner revealed that reverse grids will be up for discussion.

"One of the things that will be tabled tomorrow will be something that I think Bernie's quite keen on, which is reversing the top ten and therefore having points for qualifying," said the Red Bull boss. "It will encourage drivers to push on a Saturday and then encourage them to race on a Sunday. I'm sure it will get discussed. Whether that will get agreed or not I really don't know."

Referring to Ecclestone's claim that F1 is the worst it has ever been, Horner said: "Bernie has made up the Formula One brand to what it is today. Of course it has got its issues but fundamentally it is a great show. It has an enormous following around the world, it has a huge fan base and the talent that exists in Formula One is unique in the sporting playing field.

"Could it be better? Of course it could," he admitted. "I don't think Formula One is in crisis but we have got an opportunity to do something really good and hopefully that is not missed."

Also on the agenda is a major overhaul of the rules for 2017, an overhaul that Horner admits is vital.

"We've done all the research, we know the numbers, and you can use whatever excuses you like," he said. "Tomorrow is a great opportunity to do something fantastic for the fans, to push the drivers, to come up with a car that is absolutely spectacular, and I think that's what we should be aiming to do."

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Published: 22/02/2016
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