“I just like fair racing”: Bottas also not a fan of reverse-grid qualifying races

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas joins the growing number of Formula 1 drivers who have criticised the sport’s proposal to introduce reverse-grid qualifying races.

Speaking in a social media interview for the official F1 website, Bottas said it would be a “bit unfair at times because we know some tracks how difficult it can be to overtake and maybe that would make you play some games – within qualifying or a qualifying race.

“I just like fair racing and may the best man win. As we are now I’m pretty comfortable with that current format.”

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65 comments on ““I just like fair racing”: Bottas also not a fan of reverse-grid qualifying races”

  1. Barely anything on the Le Mans? Weird, it seemed like the most professional event thus far. I watched small parts and highlights, and apart from the glitches the race was fine, and the coverage excellent.

  2. It’s like fake news! Video games just don’t cut it.

  3. So Bottas thinks that reverse grids are unfair? Then how about a team of 1500 people and a budget of US$300M+ being a bit unfair? When for the most part the WC’s are simply a walk in the park and the results just so predictable a one off chance to test the waters with a unique formula are trashed by Mercedes….yes, one team out of ten! Who said that the manu’s don’t control F1. No, I think that Bottas, like Hamilton, fear having to ‘thread the needle’ during a race which would mean actually having to race for position without the assistance of blue flags. That’s what i would like to see…and a whole bunch of people feel the same as well. If it is a disaster and people park cars on purpose then that could be policed by insisting that the team provide technical details otherwise they would be excluded from race two. With a jerried up season why not give it a go?

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      15th June 2020, 11:36

      Well there are three teams with that budget and thus 4 drivers who could potentially be WDC (Ferrari and red Bull have #1 driver policies). It doesn’t get much more fair than that in motor racing really.

      1. @ F1osaurus….Well you may say that but, forgive me for reminding you, but for the last 6, yes 6 years, on the trot,6 WDC’s and 6WCC’s have been won by the one team, Mercedes. What’s that about ‘fair racing’?. IIRC Red Bull, and Ferrari were up for a change to try out a new quali formula to see how it went, but it was Mercedes who were afraid that Hamilton may have to actually compete for track position on merit. The GOAT should be able to take all and sundry and still have gas in the tank. It’s called ‘protection’ just like Wolff will not allow any competitive driver to take a seat in the opposite garage.

    2. GtisBetter (@)
      15th June 2020, 17:11

      That argument doesn’t make sense. Everybody is free to put that kind of money in if they want. The rules are the same for everybody, so it’s fair.

      Reverse grid is not fair, cause not everybody is treated equally. The fast teams will be put at a disadvantage, just because they are fast. This is just as unfair as balance of performance, where fast teams are being punished for their accomplishment to spice up the show.

      1. @passingisoverrated You can’t possibly be this this blind to how the world works. Fairness and business have nothing in common and yet you manage to state there is nothing stopping others injecting the same millions? There’s a reason Formula 1 has rules, but they aren’t made with fairness as the main principle. Almost everybody involved is there to make money, and eyeballs is the base currency. That’s the only reason those at the front won’t accept this format as they will only lose. Fairness isn’t really a valid reason, otherwise they would be driving in the spec series.

  4. The current grid system rewards drivers who put in their best effort (terms and conditions apply). Being ahead of another driver isn’t just about bragging rights, it is also about where you start the race.
    A reversed grid, on the other hand, punishes those who put in their best effort. What’s the point in bragging “I Qualified ahead of you” when that other driver can say “Yes, and I will start the race ahead of you”? The only reason a reversed grid could work is by making the reward for Qualifying with a faster time greater than the reward for starting behind other drivers. For example, what’s the point in trying to Qualify with the fastest Q3 time when you’re starting the race last? Wouldn’t you rather put in a less than honest effort? If you don’t hand out points for Qualifying then why should a driver put in their best effort to be ahead of other drivers?
    Rightly or wrongly the only reward given to drivers is WDC points, and they only cover the first 10 places in a race. So if there was going to be a reversed grid then it should only cover the first 10 places in a race, and that assumes those points places are somehow related to where you start the next race. For example, if one were to exempt the first 10 places at the first race from the second Qualifying session for the second race somewhere and instead used the “First 10” finishing order of the first race as the reversed starting order for the second race, then that might work because the reward of the WDC points earned from the first race is greater than the loss in starting grid placement. That would mean the second race’s Qualifying session would only involve those who finished outside the top 10 places at the first race.

    1. I see you didn’t understand how the reverse race grid was to be formed.

      Yet another prime example of the depth of misunderstanding surrounding the reverse grid proposals.

      1. If that is a misunderstanding, then the FIA has done an extremely poor job of explaining what the reverse-grid proposal would be.

        1. The information is readily available and has been widely reported.
          Many people have been so disgusted by the faintest mention that they failed to bother reading anymore than the headline, I suspect.

  5. Will this site ever publish a show of support for the reverse grid concept?
    Or are the authors so personally against the concept they they wont even balance their own publication with an alternate opinion?

    1. The comment section is Synonymous for sharing alternative opinions!
      Yet one can also use it to rant.

      1. @coldfly… or on a cold day, talk about the weather… talk about anything other than reverse grids. The least form of meritocracy in racing.

        If Liberty is so keen to make the show better… just go with reverse results… let the slowest team win it all. F1 Trials Competition.

    2. synonymous, the owners of this site are not obliged to reinforce your own beliefs – they are entitled to present their own opinion on the topic as they see fit, not to tell you only the views that you want to hear repeated back to you.

      1. I just thought they might like to appear to be a professional and unbiased media outlet reporting on F1 news and sentiment, rather than this being a soapbox for proclaiming their opinions.
        Makes it no different to Reddit or Twitter, then.

        1. You are not giving the impression that you want that supposed neutrality though.

          Instead, you are giving the impression that you want this site to argue in favour of your opinion, but want to disregard anything that opposes your preconceived ideas.

          1. anon Agreed.

            synonymous I listen to a very very popular radio station out of Toronto that is news talk all day and night, with various highly reputable hosts having their same time slots (same shows) Monday to Friday. They bring in many many guests who are experts in certain fields, politicians, etc etc. They bring up hundreds of topics a week from local to International in nature, and listeners are always welcome to call in with their opinion…it’s the basis of the station. Different hosts may have different takes or opinions on the same topic. The hosts generally prefer people phoning in who disagree with their opinion as it would be boring if the only people that called in were those who just said I agree all the time. They want to hear different opinions from their own to create an interesting and educational program.

            What I’m getting at is that when someone does phone in and complain about a host’s certain political leaning or what have you, them not being open minded about a topic let’s say, the answer back to the caller is always the same…firstly, by phoning in and being put on air they have been given a chance to air to the listeners their view, presumably alternate from the hosts, and secondly, if that is not good enough, then get your own show.

            For me, this site is as professional as it gets, and while usually unbiased and just spelling out the facts, the fact that they too have their opinions and have created this site and can therefore air said opinions if they want on occasion, is absolute fair game. We are always fortunate to have the freedom to reply with an alternate opinion if a person doesn’t think a certain side is being represented. If that isn’t good enough, start your own blog. This isn’t F1 News…here it is, read it and go on about your day….this is for Racefans…here’s the racing news, let’s talk about it.

  6. A reverse grid would be a disaster in terms of racing as long as some teams have influence over others. Haas and AR would wave Ferrari through and block Merc. Williams and RP would block the red cars but not fight Merc. It would turn a race into a travesty.
    I want to see the top cars and drivers duelling, not BS, half-baked, pretend sport. Seems to me that the people upset that it won’t happen just want to see an end to Merc domination (fine) at all costs (not fine) and are outraged that Merc aren’t in favour (deluded).

    1. I want to see the top cars and drivers duelling

      Well that hasn’t happened in a long time and I wouldn’t count on it happening in the near future.

      1. @Paul Duggan You forgot AT. They’d probably wave RBR through without a fight, but try to block Merc and Ferrari.
        @kuvemar Yes, it has, and on more than a handful of occasions over the last three seasons.

      2. Actually there have been many times in the last couple of seasons where Ferrari’s and Red Bulls have gone wheel to wheel with Mercs. I’m not the least bit interested though in seeing those cars fighting to get past Williams and Alfas. They are not genuinely racing each other and ‘extended team’ orders would come into play. Who would look forward to that?

      3. I don’t think secondary teams blocking primary teams is a concern as things stand. The pace disparity between the top 3 teams and the rest, coupled with DRS, means overtaking the secondary teams is usually very straight forward. Plenty of times in recent seasons we’ve seen a top car start at the back for some reason but make their way through with few issues. The secondary teams know they can’t hold up the top teams for long, and it’s not worth losing time and ruining their own races for it.

        This would only be a concern for a reverse grid race at Monaco, and no one is crazy enough to suggest trying that.

    2. There are still blue flag rules that every driver must adhere to.

      It’s not just domination that needs to end – it’s the boring processions and lack of competition throughout the field.
      Having the fastest cars start at the back at least means that they actually need to pass some cars rather than just disappear off into the distance after starting in front of everyone who’s slower than them.

      As far as ‘sporting purity’ is concerned – what you see on the track is no less ‘pure’ than it is in any event. Every car is racing to finish in as high a position as possible, as is always the case.
      While I understand the reservations some have about changing something from the way it has been for a while (but not forever) to something new (even for only two events) – I truly fail to agree that it would spell the end of civilisation as we know it if F1 added a small twist to make the races more interesting and exciting for us, the paying viewers.

      1. Blue flags are irrelevant in a fight for position. Do you watch F1?

        Domination needs to end by having other teams step up. Processions need to end by picking circuits that are or building circuits to be suitable for F1, something the sport has failed to do for decades while exacerbating the lack of overtaking with technical regs that seem almost designed to prevent it. Don’t give me artificial ‘racing’ by putting fast cars behind slower ones.

        While F1 teams are not truly independent (and further down the grid they simply are not) every car would not be ‘racing to finish in as high a position as possible’. There would be strategic block of enemy teams while allowing ‘parent’ cars through. Tyre stops would be timed specifically toward that aim. Cars would deliberately qualify out of position toward that aim. It would turn what should be a race into a competition between the strategists to see who could game a broken event the most effectively. Expecting Mercedes to agree to that isn’t expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas exactly, more like expecting Usain Bolt to vote for a wheelbarrow race.

        1. Yes indeed – I mistakenly said blue flags when I actually meant to refer to driving standards and blocking – which is not allowed anyway, regardless of who is involved.

          The circuits are not the problem per se – the cars are just rubbish. Most modern circuit designs have been designed for, and are exactly what the current types of cars need – long straights into hairpins – minimising the number of mid/high speed corners that punish following cars due to loss of downforce.

          No, you’re absolutely right – no smaller team wants to finish in the top 10 and increase their prize money payments. No smaller team wants to improve their track position against their immediate competitors – they are ONLY there to help the engine supplier. Sure.
          I know F1 is extremely contrived and farcical, but that’s pushing the idea a bit too far.

          What does qualifying have to do with reverse grid races? You do know that the reverse race grid would be set by championship order, right? Not by a qualifying session… I’m guessing the idea of a reverse grid incensed you so much that failed to read the next bit about how it would work.
          The result of the reverse grid race would set the grid for the GP. How does a team cheat that system without penalising themselves? Deliberately scoring less championship points? That’d be pretty self-defeating…
          Just how much do you think the smaller teams are willing give up to help out the manufacturer? (Manufacturers they already pay 15M Euro just to get engines in the first place.)

          Turn F1 into a competition between strategists? That’s exactly what it’s been for 20+ years already!
          You highlight perhaps the biggest problem with F1 – that the teams get too much say on what happens.

          Seriously, I’m yet to read a decent argument against reverse grid qualifying races that isn’t based purely on emotion. I wish everyone against it would just remember how far F1 is from it’s original intent already – what is it that you are trying to save? It sure isn’t sporting purity.

        2. So, by your comments I gather you feel that F1 is a politically controlled farce rather than a sport?
          If that’s the case, why not take one more step and turn into pure entertainment?

          Drivers still aren’t allowed to block, so the faster cars will get by the slow ones pretty soon. In the mean time, the big 3 teams will be battling among themselves all the way through.

          1. No, but it will become one if you make it the winning strategy by introducing something as daft as reverse grids.

          2. So, the ‘4 effective teams in F1’ thing is OK, the super-restrictive and prescriptive technical regulations are OK, the cars that can’t race together are OK, arbitrary points systems are OK, massively unequal financial factors are OK, etc etc…
            But changing the order that the cars start a short reverse grid qualifying race – the results of which set the starting grid for the full 305km GP – at just two events this year in such a unique and desperate situation as F1 and the world finds itself in right now when it needs as many viewers as possible is not OK?

            Wow, my priorities must be all wrong…

          3. “So, the ‘4 effective teams in F1’ thing is OK, the super-restrictive and prescriptive technical regulations are OK, the cars that can’t race together are OK, arbitrary points systems are OK, massively unequal financial factors are OK, etc etc…”

            Well you just said that. I’m pretty sure that (scrolls up…), no, no I definitely didnt say that. That was all you.

            I’m wondering what your reasons are for supposing that the lunacy that’s been proposed is going to result in more viewers. These will be CHAMPIONSHIP races. I could make up some stupid reasons and pretend you’d said them but I think we can agree that would just make me look unreasonable.

          4. A) Because it isn’t lunacy – it’s entertainment. As all sport is.
            B) Because F1 has stated (several times since announcing they will restart) they need to make the races as exciting as possible.
            C) Because championship status has no relevance. Each race produces a result, regardless, and the points are awarded for those finishing positions.
            Should they not go to other circuits that weren’t originally planned for this year’s calendar either? No second race at all in Austria or Silverstone?
            D) Because only 2 teams rejected the idea – the one with the most to lose, and one of their ‘political allies.’
            E) Because why not. If it’s that bad, it should fail on merit. Give it a chance to succeed or fail on it’s own.

            I think you are objecting just because you are afraid that you might like a reverse grid race.
            Maybe you just like seeing the same car win all the time. You’ve got what you wanted anyway, so I guess there’s no need to keep explaining a different point of view to you.

          5. I’ll just say this; I’ve seen reverse grid races and I don’t like them BUT I don’t think they’re an utterly horrible idea in spec racing series with truly independent teams. In a series with effective ‘B teams’ and even ‘C teams’ though, I do think they’re utterly horrible.

          6. It makes more sense to run reverse grid races in a series with such a wide performance spread as F1 than it does in a spec series.
            Might I suggest that it makes much more sense to do this than it does to hobble the development of a team by restricting wind tunnel and CFD time.

            Well, you think the IDEA is horrible – seeing as they haven’t been trialled in F1… Nobody can make an informed judgement on them yet, as the real-world trial runs were rejected. Again.

            The thing that annoys me is that we won’t get to see it. If it was just really bad, then fine, everyone would know it’s bad and the idea could be thrown away.
            However, if it worked, then it would be another tool that F1 could use if/when it ever needs to race on the same circuit multiple times in the future, or the next technical regulation changes fail to produce cars that can race, again.

        3. Yeah, sorry, not blue flags.
          I meant driving standards. Blocking is not allowed.

          Unless you are suggesting that the customer teams will risk a black flag or DSQ for their engine manufacturer’s team’s benefit?

        4. @Paul Duggan… your comment, ‘blue flags are irrelevant in a fight for position.’ Do you really watch F1 ? Blue flags may be irrelevant to the lapped cars being passed but they are certainly relevant to those who are racing for position otherwise why are they there? As for the comments made like ‘ other teams have to step up etc etc etc’ is just plain nonsense. Do you seriously think that ‘others’ can realistically take on the financial might of Mercedes/Ferrari? If you do then i suggest that you are dreaming; remember what the doormouse said’ I would dearly love to see races where there were anything up to a minimum of six driver/car combos all in with a chance of winning/podiums rather than the boring processions we have been subjected to over the past six years. A test to see if a reverse grid would work in those races which are becoming double headers surely warrants some trial. You are aware of course that nine teams all agreed to give it a go?

  7. Bottas is a fan of starting infront and finishing infront, without unneeded overtaking.

    There is a substantially good chance he’ll start in Top 3 and finish in Top 3, so any kind of reverse race is a big hurdle. Even doing a bad job he’d start P5-6.

    Meanwhile us fans grow tired of seeing Mercedes drive off in to the sunset with P1-2, without anyone threatening P1 due to unwritten team orders or incompetence.

    Even if Lewis Hamilton started slightly behind Bottas we’d have a more fun race.

    Whenever Lewis starts in P1, we are bound to have a poor race, because we know, through considerable fault of his own, he’ll keep the P1.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      15th June 2020, 11:42

      @jureo Well when Hamilton starts in a lower position and then wins the race people still complain it was boring because “Hamilton only won because of Mercedes domination bla bla bla”.

      They only thing people seem to cheer for is for a lesser driver than Hamilton to win races even if that’s only because he also simply had the fastest car that day anyway.

      1. Variety and unpredictability.
        There are two things that people enjoy when Hamilton doesn’t win.

  8. From the Autosport-article: He said he last used a foot-clutch 17 years back even though WRC-cars have a foot-clutch.

    Re COTD: That could happen. Time will tell.

    1. @jerejj Robert’s didn’t when he was there in the middle of last decade, because he was using a modified control system. I’m surprised he didn’t use one in the minor rallies he competed in around 2010, though.

      1. @alianora-la-canta AFAIA, the modified control system only applied to gear-shifting and handbrake-usage.
        Nothing mentioned about the foot-pedals, and as can be seen from the first image, there’s three pedals with the first (smallest) one from the left being the clutch-pedal.

  9. “I just like fair racing and may the best man win

    That’s a pipedream Bottas; it should be: “… and may the best team win, and within that team the best driver.”

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      15th June 2020, 11:48

      @coldfly Hamilton won plenty of races where he didn’t have the best car. 2018 is littered with races where he should not have been able to win, but then Vettel bottled it. In 2019 he also won for instance in Canada, Hungary, Russia, Mexico (with the third fastest car even) and Verstappen won in Austria (although technically he had the fastest car after they allowed him to destroy the engine to win that race).

      1. It might be true, but hardly relevant here.

  10. I used to like the 1 hour qualifying format. It was ok even with the long waiting time for action. Single lap qualifying was ok but what we have now I think is the best format. I wouldn’t have been too bothered if they tried qualifying sprint races a few times this year as it would have shown it for the farce that it is and put it to bed.

    All the changes coming into the sport will make it better. Budget caps and the new aero regulations for 2022 will gradually make racing closer and will reward teams who innovate and make best use of their resources. I am surprised at the likes of Ross Brawn coming up with ridiculous ideas such as reverse grid sprint races for qualifying after talking so much about F1 being a meritocracy. It reminds me of that TV advert from the early 2000’s from one of the British newspapers, where they took the driver out of the car (implying it was Schumacher) and spun him around until he was dizzy. Well done to Mercedes for standing up for the integrity of Formula 1.

    What’s next? Let’s decide who starts on pole by drawing a driver number from a bowl? Oh wait thats been done before ;) F1 needs to remember that quite a lot of fans are paying for this product now and adding gimmicks will make fans evaluate whether or not its worth to continue paying to watch this sport.

  11. F1oSaurus (@)
    15th June 2020, 11:54

    Mansell has a point I guess, but that they get out of the car after hardly braking a sweat is also because they are all so incredibly trained nowadays. Back then it was only a few drivers who put in the effort and even then it was much less.

    Besides the drivers (Hamilton and Alonso at least) have been complaining for years that F1 cars are too easy to drive. It’s the high weight and the tyres that keep them from going flat out. Even though they still probably encounter a lot more G forces that the drivers in the 80’s and 90’s ever did.

    1. Power steering, higher downforce (more traction), far grippier tyres, paddle-shift gearboxes, extending engine life, strategic factors – including being told everything by the strategists/engineers rather than figuring it out themselves….
      There are many reasons why drivers worked harder in the car in previous eras than they do now. Physically, in particular.
      G’s are higher now, but the workload otherwise is lower.

      1. S, except that a number of those points you raise were also present in that era as well – power steering was around in Mansell’s time, as were semi-automatic gearboxes that were actually more advanced than modern units (being designed so a driver could pre-select how many downshifts they wanted to make and then let the car automatically shift down for them at the optimum rpm in the braking zone).

        Discussions on strategies to use is a pretty old phenomenon, as two way radios have been in F1 since the 1980s – indeed, Mansell should know about it because he was one of the drivers who tested an early unit for Lotus in the late 1970s when he worked for them as a test driver. A lot of people do seem to have a mistaken idea that a lot of things that they think are modern inventions have been around for far longer than they realise.

        1. Few of those were in F1 when Mansell started racing in F1.
          Many were introduced throughout his time in the series, though.

          Whatever, I wasn’t specifically stating which eras I was talking about – only that many of the factors have been introduced over a general period of time making the driver’s job easier.

  12. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    15th June 2020, 12:22

    “I just like fair racing and may the best man win”

    But that’s not how F1 works currently, you can put the best man in a Williams and he’s still going to finish last. There’s nothing ‘fair’ about the existing system.

    1. Guaranteeing equal equipment isn’t how F1 has ever worked or ever will work. What’s fair is that all the teams develop their cars the same regs and race on the same tracks.

      1. With vastly different resources…

        Regardless of what F1 tries to be, it isn’t always the best man that wins.
        The best car, however…. That usually does.

        1. ‘Vastly different resources’. Yes and it was ever thus. It’s not a spec series. Do you think it should be?

          Anyway, Ferrari has always had the most money and they don’t always win. Toyota couldn’t buy their way to the top either. And – at the end of the day – the driver’s championship is really just a sideshow; the constructor’s championship is the main event in F1 (BECAUSE it’s not a spec series). For best man read ‘best team’ and that includes the drivers.

          1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
            15th June 2020, 16:04

            I don’t think anyone’s advocating for a spec series, just a more competitive grid rather than seeing the same three teams at the front for no other reason than they can outspend the rest of the teams combined. That doesn’t make them ‘the best team’, it makes them ‘the best financially backed’. That’s not a meritocracy or rewarding the ‘best’, that’s rewarding those who have the most financial capability.

            Sure they race to the same regulations and on the same tracks, but when you have some teams on the verge of financial collapse and others being paid just for turning up I don’t see how anyone could consider that ‘fair’.

  13. There is a lot of chatter vis a vis ‘meritocracy’ but that is a false flag. When the collective F1 organisations, come to decide how to improve on track competition they have concentrated on the one major differential and that is ‘budgets’. In the past teams have been penalised, not necessarily because they don’t know how to build a car or have a duff driver combo but because they can’t afford to compete with mammoth global car manu’s. who can afford half a billion dollars per annum if they choose. Budgets of that magnitude buy the very best of the best….is that meritocracy? Hardly. If the Mercedes/Ferraris can reduce their budgets and still win then that is another story. If we take Hamilton/Bottas and put them in the Renault and Leclerc/Vettel in AlphaTauri would they still head the field and take multiple WC’s? I very much doubt it.

  14. Reverse grids are going to happen next year because it’s something Ross & Liberty desperately wants to do regardless of how unpopular it is & next year they won’t need to get unanimous agreement from teams to push things like this though.

    And while Ross may not know where it came from, I’ve been told by multiple people that the idea came from & is been pushed heavily by Sky which is why it’s something every member of their on-air team pushes heavily at every opportunity. They have taken an editorial decision that by talking it up as an amazing idea as often & with as much enthusiasm as possible during broadcast’s that they will be able to get fans onboard with it.

    In the past FOM would have dialog with broadcast partners about broadcast related things only. However Sky worked with Liberty to get broadcasters involved in discussions on a sporting/regulation side & given how Sky not only pay significantly more to F1 than anyone else but also have very close links with Liberty they have a louder voice than anyone else. This is why you often hear everyone on Sky pushing ideas that subsequently get picked up for further discussion & why the Sky on-air team (Croft especially) push them as heavily as they do.

    1. Yes I have heard Crofty promoting this idea quite a lot, especially in Free Practice sessions. If they push this through ill bin my subscription and watch on Channel 4 until they come to their senses. OK if its free to air but if you want me to pay dont mess with the sport I enjoy :-)

    2. @gt-racer That explains why an idea which was rejected 15 years ago for not helping the situation has been revived, thank you. I’m surprised Ross doesn’t know the source if it’s Sky, but I could imagine Sky wanting something because of an editorial decision. Is it possible that part of the reason Liberty is devising the OTT platform is to give it some pushback against Sky?

      I have to say all the additional pushing has done is make me even more averse to a reverse-grid race than I already was. If we’re going away from “fastest single lap takes pole” for the sake of shaking things up, then it needs to be something less, not more, relevant to how races on Sundays are won. Something less like, not more like, Sunday’s races. Something like a randomised draw (which is traditional – some top-formula races in the 1930s used this approach) or a drag race (don’t ask me how that would be set up at most races…) would make for more varied grids than a reverse-grid race could produce (since reverse-grid races simply replicates the same skills as the standard race, but in miniature and with some perverse incentives).

      1. @alianora-la-canta is it that Brawn doesn’t know that the source is Sky, or that he does know but does not want to admit that the idea came from Sky given that they might not want to make clear the leverage that Sky has over Liberty Media and the wider sport?

    3. Is it any wonder?
      If the business that does most of the selling (distribution and marketing) of F1 is telling you that their product stinks and would be better with this, F1 would do well to listen.
      Sky will pay more for something they can sell to more customers. And they will offer less for something that less of their customers are paying for.

      Look at the F1 game – it’s not a sim, it’s an arcade game.
      The TV market is no different. There are less ‘purists’ watching (partly because F1 is no longer pure in any sense of the word) and their replacement audience want to see different things.

      1. S, actually, the surveys that Sky have run themselves indicate that a majority of those they polled were against reverse races – whilst the idea might be less unpopular, you’re still looking at about 60% of people opposing the idea. Your economic argument therefore fails as rather than offering something they can sell to more potential customers, the proposal that Sky is pushing is potentially reducing the number of potential customers by pushing a proposal that a majority of those potential customers dislike.

        Furthermore, the cost of Sky’s subscription service in a number of countries means that casual viewers are unlikely to pay to watch F1 on a whim, meaning the audience is in fact more heavily made up of those “purists” that you disparage.

        In the UK, for example, the cost of a Sky subscription can easily run into the order of >£400 per annum, and even the cheapest methods for watching F1 are ~£200 per annum. To put it bluntly, you can stuff all the gimmicks you want, but to most people the cost of a Sky subscription simply costs too much for it to be justifiable in any way and is a luxury that quite a few can’t or won’t pay for.

        1. And who fills in Sky surveys?
          I would imagine existing Sky customers do – people who are already heavily involved (financially/emotionally) in F1.
          That still excludes casual/possible future viewers from the survey.

          So, much like a survey on this site, the Sky survey will naturally show only a small sample of opinion from a very limited (most likely dedicated) audience.

          Don’t put too much faith in it.
          Just out of interest, how did the idea poll here?

          More exciting/unpredictable races will entice more people – talking about it at work, on the internet, seeing it on the news… The less predictable and boring it is, the more attractive it become to more people – it could definitely entice more people to watch and subscribe to Sky.
          More eyeballs = more sponsors and advertising revenue = win win for everyone.

          1. Aren’t you being a bit inconsistent by initially claiming that this move is supposed to be because of a change in the audience composition, only to now claim that, because the results don’t show what you wanted them to, that it must be biased and therefore invalid?

            Also, if Sky was meant to have spoken to casual fans to have come up with the idea of reverse races, then the argument that only the hardcore fans are replying breaks down. If it’s only the hardcore fans who are replying though, then how can Sky, or you for that matter, claim to know that this is what the casual fans want if they are not telling you what they want?

    4. I did a quick google search for commentary about reverse grids from some of the key Sky on-air people, and although likely unscientific lol, I would have to say if Sky is trying to sell this idea they are not doing a very good job.

      I saw a video of Ted Kravitz saying it should only be an experiment and therefore should only be tried during a non-points race so that it won’t affect the Championship. Reading one set of Martin Brundle’s quotes had him generally saying aw come on give it a try for the back-to-back same-venue races so we don’t have two identical looking races in a row one weekend to the next, in what I perceived to be a very nonchalant manner of verbiage and specifically about the unique-to-this-year back to back races. Ant’s main theme on the topic is that it doesn’t address the underlying problem in F1 that has garnered such talk of reverse grids, that being their addiction to aero dependence and thus predictability. He acknowledges the new technical rules will likely change that. I actually couldn’t see in a quick search Crofty’s commentary although I’m sure it’s gettable with a bit more time searching. If he is on a hard sell about reverse grids though, I would have to say he is the only one on the team doing that then. So if perhaps the ‘push’ for this is coming from the higher ups at Sky, sure I can see that, but they sure haven’t decided to use the on-air people to drum the idea into the fans’ psyche from what I can see.

  15. tony mansell
    16th June 2020, 11:22

    Yeh sure Bottas 3.0, I ask you again when you are back at Williams.

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