Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel, Singapore, 2019

Reverse grid would be “complete bull***t” – Vettel

2020 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton were scathingly dismissive of a suggestion Formula 1 could introduce reverse grid races.

Teams are considering whether to trial a new qualifying format at some races in 2020. Different formats have been suggested, and reverse and partial-reverse grids are used in some other championship.

But the two champions are adamant reverse grid races do not belong in Formula 1.

“I think it’s complete bullshit to be honest,” said Vettel. “I think we know if you want to improve things I think it’s very clear we need to string the field more together. We need to have better racing.

“So it’s just a plaster. I don’t know which genius came up with this but it’s not the solution. Completely the wrong approach.”

Hamilton agreed with Vettel. “I don’t really know what to say about that,” he said. “The people that are proposing this don’t really know what they’re talking about.”

Charles Leclerc, who took pole position for tomorrow’s race, said he would not like to start 20th instead.

“I’m a lot happier to start first,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the solution for Formula 1. I think the best should win and start in the best place and not reversing that order.”

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2019 F1 season

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 23 comments on “Reverse grid would be “complete bull***t” – Vettel”

    1. I think the drivers sum it up rather well! Sort the fundamental problems out rather than coming up with stupid gimmicks like this.

      We’ve seen when one of the top 3 teams’ drivers start at the back they come through the pack stupidly easily. They’d either be let through as other teams would focus on their own battles or they’d pit early/late and bypass everyone in the pit stop window

    2. Agree with Ham. Even davidson and si resta were doing that on fp.

    3. A very very stupid idea from de cowboys owners of formula 1.

    4. Totally agree with the champs. They should keep it simple and stop those stupid “gud for tha show” gimmicks.
      Wanna change the grid? Just alternate the rows with 3 and 2 places recursively and we’ll probably see better starts already only by applying some paint at the tarmac.

    5. 1. A few wider corner combinations where a quicker car can pass
      2. Get rid of DRS, at least in the last five laps: let attacking and defending induced wear on tires and driver skill determine the outcome: not the stupidly conceived DRS
      3. Indy car and NASCAR are crash-em series: leave it that way

    6. ”I think the best should win and start in the best place and not reversing that order.”
      – Precisely spot on, success should be praised, not punished.

    7. I was under the impression the 2021 changes were at least in part designed to avoid the ‘need’ for stupid gimmicks?

      1. FOM is pushing to try ‘something new’ in 2020 before the big reg changes. I think it’s just kinda stupid and contraproductive in the long term. Also, I cannot fathom why they pushing this while they don’t proceeding with a non-championship race, something Brawn said 2 years ago, they will try out. I understand that nobody wants the NC-race, because the would be costing the same as a normal race, but they could easily do ONE to play with all the gimmicks in the world.

    8. If the fastest drivers knew they would be starting last then everyone would deliberately try to be slower and the whole thing would look like they were driving behind invisible safety car? Or have a “technical problem” that limited engine power.
      I think the current qualifying is just fine as it is. The fastest get to the front. You wanna beat them? Then go faster! Simple.

      1. Engine penalties would drop a driver to the front of the grid :)

        1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
          22nd September 2019, 13:15

          Haha, yes exactly!
          Qualifying is one thing that really works quite well.
          So of course these corporate interests have to go and meddle in that…

          For me the main reason for dropping F1 on television was the combination of
          (A) extortionate pricing from Sky in the UK and
          (B) the way the “rights owners” are slamming down on people making Youtube videos.

          Yes I know some corporate interests think the “own” the entire everything and sure, take it all then and hide it behind your Paywalls.
          I think they’d gain more if they took a more “user friendly” approach and were less authoritarian against Youtube commentators who play a clip from some race.

          I’m 60 years and could easily pay for a Sky subscription if I wanted to. I just won’t do it now.

    9. In the end f1 has only had two major issues for the last 7 years. Mercedes domination and two tiers of competition. Merc+ferrari+red bull vs the rest in division 2. Unless you can fix that no other change will make a meaningful difference. All the other issues are bearable. Even if the cars are too heavy, can not follow or overtake, the engines suck, the big teams control the last word for every decision and if the prize money distribution is unfair it is still functional if you have at least 2 drivers from different teams fighting for championships and everybody has a chance to get a podium finish on a good day and even a win.

    10. If they must do artificial stuff then they should start adding ballast to cars according to finishing position up to a maximum of 20Kg. 10Kg for First place down to 1Kg for 10th. Finishing 11th or lower in a race and you lose 5 Kg ballast that you’ve acquired. So if you won 2 races you would be at 20Kg ballast in the next race, if you then DNF you wohld drop to 15Kg ballast.
      Effectively this will hurt the top 3 teams worse and bring the midfield closer to them. You could play with the amounts of course but the theory is it applies a small penalty for success but the teams should be allowed to place the ballast where they like to off set the weight disadvantage.

    11. Nobody has mentioned the fact that reverse grid starts are dangerous. We saw the result when Indy car tried it. The idea of the back half of the field trying to make it to the front in the first lap is just plain scary.

    12. Conspicuous By their absence, those starting at the back of the grid. … But yeah, dumb idea.

    13. If two Red Bulls, two Ferraris and two Mercs started from P15 to P20 in every race, I would bet one of them to win all races bar Monaco.

    14. So drivers don’t want it, fans don’t seem to want it….

      Absolute given that it will be forced upon us then.

      Who said Bernie had left the building.. his legacy keeps on lol.

    15. How about getting rid of FP3 and moving Quali to that slot. Then have a “Feature race” in the usual Quali slot.
      Quali sets grid order for Sunday as it does now. Then put the gimmick bit in the feature race, eg success ballast from Quali/Chap position/Previous race results, reverse grids, Fake wet races etc. Offer a proportion of the points from a proper race eg using the system from 09.
      The hardcore fans are happy because Quali and Race are the same FOM get their new format, and Quali being earlier in the day than the race may throw up some surprises!

    16. Maybe they should just make F1 more like Super Mario Kart.

      You know, Hamilton’s 9 seconds ahead and cruising: Just throw a turtle shell in front of him.

      Or…

      …the owners of F1 should do their jobs properly and make intelligent, subtle changes to the rules which give us closer racing.

    17. The most astonishing fact is that f1 is already offering spectacular races and quali sessions! Consider f1 15 years ago, with no overtakes at all and so on.
      I think that Liberty and FOM are trying to attract more spectators on tv shows, as tv ratings are going down pretty fast because of the decision of excluding free tv’s from the broadcast, in favour of pay tv’s. This is totally wrong: f1 shows are getting more exclusive (i.e. less accessible to the pubblic), and FOM and Liberty are trying to make it more appealing in order ti attract new pubblic, but in a total wrong way.

    18. Magnus Rubensson (@)
      22nd September 2019, 13:07

      Reversing the grids means the challenge will be to drive slowest in qualifying and make it look convincing.

    19. Reverse grid would make no sense unless they find a solution to correctly incentivize the drivers & teams to give their best both in Qualifying and the Race. The only way I see this is by rewarding points both in Quali & the race. If a grid is with 20 cars, then pole gets 20 points, 2nd gets 19 and so on. And perhaps the points reward in the race can remain as it is now for the Top 10 finishers only. But the F1 rule makers would need to carefully simulate this to find the incentivization scheme that reduces the inevitable “gaming” that would otherwise creep in to score maximum points.

      I can imagine that it would take a while for the spectators to get used to it. But I’d expect that by half-season, even the casual viewer would be accustomed to it. The TV commentators anyway do a good job repeating the rules, as seen today as they keep explaining the Q1 & Q2 knock-out sessions. So, this approach would also help limit the confusion with a reverse grid on Sunday

    Comments are closed.