UAE- Mercedes set to oppose F1 reverse grid qualifying race plan


F1 team principals discussed the idea last week of running reversed-grid qualifying sprints at the second of double-header events this year as a way of making the repeat races more exciting.

The battle between Formula 1 teams will be just as "fierce" as ever when racing resumes in Austria next month, reckons Red Bull's Christian Horner, despite the unique circumstances of closed door events.


"(The proposal) seemed to get overwhelming support.

Toto Wolff has defined why Mercedes are opposed to reverse-grid races in 2020, telling Sky Sports F1 that the world champions should not ready to "make any gifts" for his or her rivals by making a "lottery".

Mercedes blocked a proposal to have reverse-grid qualifying races in Formula One because they felt it was a gimmick that could affect the championship outcome, team boss Toto Wolff said on Wednesday (June 3).

"There seems to be a common pattern in Formula 1, diffing out old ideas that had been analysed thoroughly and rejected and then somebody thinks it's great and it's back on the agenda", Wolff said.

"One of those reasons is that we know it from touring vehicle racing that strategy games are the name of the game, and if you know that you're not in a great position on the weekend before, you may decide to DNF a auto and start the next weekend on pole".

"The third reason, and this is the more inward-looking reason, is simply that we have a championship to play for".

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"And if that auto starts on pole for the qualifying race, among midfielders, then he'll certainly be on pole for Sunday and win the race".

Formula One has yet to start its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but was expected to issue a revised calendar yesterday with a string of European races in quick succession.

F1 teams have a tougher time returning to competition than teams in many other sports because of the dozens of people who usually travel to a race and the regular worldwide journeys involved. And then, from a pure performance standpoint, whoever has the faster vehicle, not necessarily us, will be penalized towards the second- and third-quickest teams, because they will simply start in front.

"As we understand the margins are frequently not large, so as a result it's a little an opportunistic relocate to provide some groups a benefit".

In a later interview with written journalists, Wolff once more insisted it was not the time to experiment with reverse-grid races. ".we don't believe F1 needs gimmicks to make it attractive".

"We've had discussions in the past couple of years about should we look at ways to make some changes that honour the sport, respect what has made the sport great but we think would be changes that would enhance the experience for fans", he explained. "I think we always want to be challenging ourselves and [looking at whether] there other things we can do to make the sport better".

"But I think we'll continue [talks] but it won't be unique to this".