Binotto revives call for reverse grids


Ferrari boss, Mattia Binotto points to Lewis Hamilton's performance in Brazil to revive the call for reverse grids.

While most drivers, team bosses and fans are against the concept, there are a number of inhabitants of Planet Paddock who continue to believe that what the sport needs is reverse grids.

Of course, the call usually comes from those teams that would benefit most as opposed to the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull.

Ahead of Ross Brawn's Interlagos debrief for the official F1 website, in which he is absolutely guaranteed to push the proposal once again, Ferrari's Mattia Binotto has used Lewis Hamilton's extraordinary displays over the Brazil weekend as proof that the idea would work.

Asked, despite the criticism of the concept if he thinks it is feasible, the Italian said: "I think it is, honestly, because of what happened with so many overtakes, so much fun.

"I think we should really consider it," he added, "and that's obviously for the sprint race format and having seen what happened, I think it's not debatable."

In September, Brawn, who has long championed the concept, suggested a 'stand-alone' weekend where such ideas could be trialled without affecting the championship.

"I think qualifying on a Friday, race on a Sunday, with a standalone event with some decent reward in between," he said, "but maybe a little bit of jeopardy in the grid of how you start it.

"But we've always got to be conscious, we don't want gimmicks, we don't want an artificial show, we don't want to cannibalise the Grand Prix, we don't want to affect the integrity.

"It's a difficult balance," he admitted. "But there's definitely potential there."

While the admission that F1 doesn't want gimmicks appears to be a classic case of shutting the stable gate after the (prancing) horse has bolted, what Binotto and Brawn don't appear to understand is that any manipulation in order to achieve a desired result is a gimmick by its very nature.

What had everyone talking about Hamilton's performance over the weekend - other than his various run-ins with the stewards - was that his remarkable fight back from last on the grid on Saturday to fifth was unique. His need to overtake 15 drivers in a bid to secure a decent grid slot for Sunday was what drove him, and thrilled us, the fans.

His was a brilliant performance in reaction to a chain of circumstances.

Reversing the grid a couple of times a year would compromise the spectacle of such a fight back besides which in no time at all teams would be factoring the concept into their strategies.

Fact is, many of the new fans being brought into the sport by the likes of Drive to Survive want something beyond the paddock antics of their heroes, and with no guarantee their attention can be grabbed for two hours on a Sunday afternoon the sport's powers that be are constantly looking for new ways to entertain and capture their imagination... gimmicks.

If one needs any further proof of the direction the sport is heading, one need look no further than Stefano Domenicali's welcome message today on hearing the news that Alfa Romeo has signed the sport's first Chinese driver.

With no disrespect to Guanyu Zhou, when was the last time the sport's CEO personally welcomed a driver signing?

As the late, great Mike Lawrence would say... follow the money.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 16/11/2021
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