Only Toto Wolff is against reverse grid races - Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has suggested Formula 1 use reverse grid races to spice up the action at circuits that feature twice on the 2020 calendar.
Used in junior Formula up to Formula 2, reversed or partially reversed grids often provide some of the best entertainment of the weekend. Top drivers are forced to fight through the pack while backmarkers and their sponsors gain an unlikely moment in the sun.
“I think we’ve got a unique situation this year, and having two races at the same venue would seem the perfect time to try something different," Horner told the Sky Sports F1 Show. "Otherwise, with stable weather conditions, we’re likely to have the same outcome in race two as we have in race one.
“There was a discussion last week where the FIA and Liberty put on the table trying something different for that second race weekend, where there would be a different qualifying with perhaps a race on Saturday, reverse grid on Sunday, and my view was, why do it at one race, let’s do it at all the races where there are two races – so potentially Austria, Silverstone, maybe at an Asian circuit further down the line.
“That seemed to get overwhelming support. The only person who wasn’t particularly supportive of it was Toto [Wolff], because he thought it would interfere with Lewis’s seventh world championship campaign. It would be too much of a variable."
Formula 1 most recently attempted to change the qualifying format in 2016, but the elimination version of the session proved unpopular and the three-phase session that has been in place since 2006 returned.
While a reverse grid may be labelled as a gimmick too far by some, the entertainment levels would be increased and Horner says that now is the 'perfect time' to try something different.
"Having races being at the same venue for two consecutive weekends would seem a logical and timely place to introduce something. If it doesn’t work then at least we’ve tried it.
"But I think at least the prospect of drivers having to race through the field on a Sunday for the feature race, having to start from the back of the grid based on championship position or the pre-race on the Saturday, I think would be something really entertaining for the fans, something positive for Formula 1 and something we shouldn’t be afraid of trying.”
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