Teams reject reverse grids


Ever since taking control of the sport at the beginning of 2017, Formula One's owners have made no secret of their desire to overhaul it, both in terms of the on-track action and the desire to curb spending.

In a bid to level the playing field, and hopefully encourage new teams to enter F1, the sport's powers that be are considering changes to almost every aspect of the sport, from how the cars look, how much teams are allowed to spend and levelling the playing field so that the likes of Alfa Romeo and Racing Point are in with a chance of a podium finish as opposed to the big three continuing to rule the roost.

One of the proposals intended to spice up the track action was the use of qualifying races, which the sport's bosses were hoping to try at three events next year.

At the French, Belgian and Russian races it was proposed that Saturday would feature a 100 km sprint race in which the cars would line up on the grid in the reverse order of the championship standings at that time. The result of the qualifying race would then decide the starting grid for next day's Grand Prix.

From the outset the proposal drew criticism from the teams, drivers and fans, many of who see it as just another gimmick while feeling that the current format is fine, even if some still hanker for the 'go for it' qualifying of the Senna era.

Amidst mounting hostility to the proposal, F1 MD, Ross Brawn went on the PR offensive last month, insisting that the idea was not set in stone, merely an experiment.

"I understand that the purists might be concerned," he said, "but we should not be afraid to conduct an experiment otherwise we cannot progress.

"We don't want change for the sake of change; we want to improve our sport, because, rather like the development of the cars, if you stand still you risk slipping backwards."

However, at this week's meeting of the teams, F1 bosses and the FIA, the proposal was rejected.

Other than fears that any incidents in the qualifying race would impace costs and also compromise teams' race day efforts, the big teams expressed concern that starting from the back of the grid would handicap them - which is basically the point, as far as Chase Carey and the gang are concerned.

The proposal needed unanimous acceptance but failed to get it, and while it will be seen as a stumbling block it is thought the powers that be haven't entirely given up on the idea and may try to push for it again next year.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 19/10/2019
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