Wolff explains reverse-grid veto


Speaking after revealing the schedule for the first 8 races of the season, F1 boss, Chase Carey admitted that the idea of holding reverse-grid qualifying races on the second Saturday of back-to-back races at the same venue had been shelved after failing to get unanimous approval from the teams.

With Mercedes said to be the only team opposing the proposal, team boss, Toto Wolff today explained the reason why he vetoed the move.

"It seems to be a common pattern in F1 that we're digging out old ideas that have been analysed previously and rejected," he said. "Then somebody thinks it's great and it's back on the back on the agenda.

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

"First, I believe that F1 is a meritocracy... best man in best machine wins. We don't need a gimmick to turn the field around to create more exciting racing.

"Two, I know from touring car racing that strategies become a very useful tool when one race result is basically making the grid for the next one. Just imagine one of the drivers not running well on the Sunday race of the first Spielberg weekend, and you decide to DNF the car. That will be the car that starts from pole for the qualy race.

"And if that car starting on pole on the qualy race is within midfielders, he will certainly be on pole for Sunday and win the race. There will be cars in the middle that will defend and block as much as they can. And therefore, for the quick cars coming from behind, it will mean more risk for a DNF and that could influence the championship.

"And third, from a pure performance standpoint, whoever the fastest car may be, and it's not necessarily us, will be penalised compared to the second and third quickest teams, because they will simply start in front. As we know the margins are often not very large, so therefore it's a bit of an opportunistic move to give some teams an advantage."

Finally, he said that fans were against the proposal.

"We said this is not the time to experiment with things that interestingly, didn't even have the support of Formula 1's fan community... in a survey only 15% expressed an interest in reverse grids."

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Published: 03/06/2020
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