F1 grid, Silverstone, 2019

Reverse-grid qualifying race trial not “off the table” for 2020 but likelier for 2021

2020 F1 season

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A proposal to trial ‘qualifying races’ at three rounds on the 2020 F1 calendar has not been completely dropped, but is more likely to go ahead in 2021.

As revealed by RaceFans Formula 1’s plan to replace qualifying with short races, in which the starting grid would be decided based on reverse championship order, at three races next year was not approved at a recent meaning as it failed to gain the required unanimous support of teams. Formula 1 motorsport director Ross Brawn later revealed two teams had opposed the plan.

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said the 2021 regulations, due to be revealed ahead of this weekend’s race, are the current priority for the sport.

“The discussion was ‘let’s focus now on getting the ’21 regulations waved through the next week and focus on that’,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “Then I think as soon as we have clarity on all these things, I think there’s a chance that we restart that discussion again.

“Not just about this possible qualifying race, but also about several other topics which have been discussed between the strategy guys of the teams and FIA and FOM. There’s some good ideas around.

“As you well know [to be approved for] 2020, you obviously need all teams united as I said before. So I wouldn’t say it’s completely off the table for 2020, but it would be unlikely that it happens for ’20. But then I think the discussions are going to be for 2021 [and] not just for this quali race.”

Other changes F1 has previously considered but rejected include whether to require each driver to make two pit stops per race instead of one.

While most teams appear to be in favour of the qualifying races proposal, drivers have largely criticised the plan, calling it “artificial”.

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2020 F1 season

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19 comments on “Reverse-grid qualifying race trial not “off the table” for 2020 but likelier for 2021”

  1. Clearly this is not going to die as an idea, and it seems that we’re going to get more surprised handed to us as well.

    How long is it going to be before we see multiple sprint races with lots of flashing lights and fireworks and lots of crashes just so we can keep the ADHD generation interested for more than 5 minutes.

    It’s a sport, it’s something that requires incredible skill and endurance, not a show that requires someone to drive fast for a few laps while making sure they do enough to entertain the masses.

    The so called experts that were employed by Liberty to develop new regulations should have walked away rather than allow this sort of thing to have gotten any oxygen at all.

    1. It is obvious that every big sport is also an entertainment. It is stupid to deny this.
      Some people watch GOT some people watch F1 some people watch F1. They watch all those things because they like what they see, they like the entertaiment part of it. All the sport nay be called Live reality shows where people entertain the viewers with their skills.
      It is good when a sport is very entertaing to watch. There is nothing wrong with attemps from Liberty to try different experiments to chose best formant to attract viewers.

    2. I think F1 had had 3 major eras. Pre-Berrnie 50s-70s. Bernie-era 70s-2016 and now Liberty media. F1 was a totally different thing in the early years. Then Bernie came and brought F1 to a wider audience.
      Now liberty is doing things the way they think is good for F1.

      If we look at the bigger picture these changes are just tip of an iceberg. They may make the sport a little different but Liberty is just making things the way they think is best. Which seems like more american than the early years and Bernie-era.

      1. I don’t think trialing an idea and requesting input from others is anything to get worked up about as a fan.
        F1 by it’s nature continues to change, bad ideas are floated and disregarded good ideas hopefully stick.

        Embrace this evolving spectacle for what it is.. and untwist your knickers ;)

  2. How many laps are proposed for the reverse grid?

    1. 100 km distance for sprint race.

    2. @inkpen99: 1 lap. That ought to be enough first lap carnage to win Liberty the WWE on Wheels mantle and save time for more slomo action replays of the Dash ‘n Smash and more time for more commercials.

  3. Please, please, please, please let this idea die already!

  4. Wowww…f1 getting more ignorant now.

  5. Good. I‘m sick of F1 killing every good idea. Qualifying as it is now must go as soon as possible.

  6. 2021?
    I guess the Alfas will be starting on the second row without Kimi.

  7. It wouldnt hurt to try it on 3 races. I am really curious how this sprint race and the race on Sunday would look like.
    Besides as I understand it the majority of the teams were in favour of this. So in order to implement it in 2021 only a majority is required.

  8. Am I the only one that likes the idea of quali races at certain tracks? There are some circuits where seeing the drivers balls-to-the-wall in quali is the highlight of the weekend; Monaco, Silverstone, Suzuka, Spa etc. Other tracks are not especially great to watch; Paul Ricard, Monza, Sochi…

    Why not replace some quali sessions with a race? It’s a different challenge for the drivers to a normal quali session or (due to the reverse grid) race. Not all tracks offer the same challenge currently – Monaco is very different to Suzuka, which is very different to Hungary, which is very different to Spa etc. So why not give the drivers (and fans) another different challenge?

    Careful thought would need to be given to which circuits to choose, but why not give it a go?

    1. You are not the only one who likes the quali race. I would say that Liberty likes it, Ross Brawn likes it, 8 team principals were in favour of it. I like it too.
      Those who dont like it either dont understand it ( I have seen many comments where people complained that drivers would try to go slow on purpose in qualifying in order to start higher, not understanding that this is not how sprint race works) or either dont want to see the driver they support(someone form big 3 teams) start from the back on Sprint race.

  9. I think you’ll find reverse grid qualifying races are FAR too interesting for F1 and we’ll carry on with christian approved missionary position sex, every Wednesday just as we always have done thank you darling!

    Note: I’m being sarcastic and calling all objectors boring old men who need to live a little.

  10. Forget the reverse grid idea. To make the show exciting, why not experiment with fan nominated drivers in similar F1 machinery? For example, I would love to see a fight between HAMILTON, VERSTAPPEN, VETTEL, LECLERC, DANI RIC, say over 5 different ciruits. I think if we as fans can refine the idea and get LIBERTY and the FIA to listen… who knows?

    1. Imagine if RB volunteering to supply the RB-13 in the off season for this tournament.
      I know, I know, I can dream, can’t I?

  11. Reverse grids are a terrible idea. They’re the antithesis of racing, and apart from that they’re a safety issue, putting the slower cars in front of the faster cars. I really hope the idea doesn’t go ahead, and if it does I hope it’s chaos. If, by 2021, they still need to be creating artificial overtaking by placing the faster cars behind then they’ll have failed again at their job.

  12. Reversed grid fans have F2 to drool over this. Leave F1 alone.

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