Start, Interlagos, 2019

F1 missed ideal opportunity to introduce reverse-grid qualifying races – Steiner

2020 F1 season

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Formula 1 has missed an ideal opportunity to test whether reverse-grid qualifying races would improve the competition, says Haas team principal Guenther Steiner.

The proposal, first rejected last year, would have seen qualifying sessions at some weekends replaced with 30-minute sprint races, starting with drivers in reverse championship order, to decided the grid for the grand prix.

A second attempt to introduce the plan was blocked by Mercedes and Racing Point. This would have seen qualifying races introduced in the second round of the ‘double header’ weekends being held in Austria and Britain.

Steiner said it would have made sense to introduce the format change under these circumstances. “You’ve got the opportunity. We have scheduled two grands prix at the same race track so the second one, if we do something new, at least we learn because also we have got something to compare because the week before we did it our normal style.

“I’m always of the opinion we should not be afraid of trying something new, but also not being afraid of saying it didn’t work. If it didn’t work we always can not do it in the future.

“But I think we should at least try it and then sometimes ‘the proof is the pudding’. You try it and you know what is coming out of it and then you make the conscious decision ‘we tried it, it was cool, it didn’t work, we did something not wrong, we tried it but it doesn’t work and we don’t do it in future’.”

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The Haas team principal denied he was in favour of the format as it might give his drivers a chance to start closer to the front.

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
Ricciardo joins critics of reverse-grid qualifying race scheme
“I don’t see this as an opportunity for the small teams to get an advantage over the big teams. I think it is an opportunity for the sport to make it maybe more interesting. And I’m not saying it will be but I would give it the chance to try and to come away with the conclusion. That is how I approach it.

“I don’t even think about it could be a possibility that we are doing better because all the other midfield teams have got the same opportunity so we are in the same position.”

The proposal failed to gain the unanimous approval of the teams which was needed for it to be introduced.

“Some teams don’t want to do it and the governance like it is now it doesn’t allow FOM to try it because they would like to try it this way.

“So that’s my opinion on that one. And I’ve got a strong opinion on that one, because these things don’t happen in a normal year, obviously, and I hope we don’t have many years as this one. But every challenge gives you opportunities and we don’t take them in the moment.”

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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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  • 86 comments on “F1 missed ideal opportunity to introduce reverse-grid qualifying races – Steiner”

    1. Michael Ward
      20th June 2020, 9:17

      “F1 missed the opportunity to introduce the worst qualifying system we’ve yet dreamed up”.

      We don’t need to mess with qualifying, in fact we never really did (although I prefer this three stage version to the old 1 hour 12 lap version), we need the cars to be able to follow each other closely without absolutely destroying their tyres, and we need the cars performance differential to close up (and a cheaper engine formula wouldn’t go a miss, this didn’t bring the manufactures like they claimed it would).

      The only reason they need to create a qualifying that would create a randomised grid is because the current F1 cars find it too hard to race each other. Fix that and we can finally get rid of these gimmicks.

      1. It’s not the qualifying session that they want to change up though. It’s the order of the start of the race.
        Yes, qualifying by itself is good right now. But the prospect of a bunch of fast cars battling each other and backmarkers at the start sure sounds interesting to me.

        Making cars easier to race will not help with the predictability of the race result.

        It’s just a race or two. A trial. In a year that most people won’t value as much. It’s the best time to try it.

    2. Its a good thing F1 didnt fall that stupidity.

      1. It’s stupid not to try it this year.

        You know they’ll try pushing it again next year, because it wasn’t given a trial run this year – in the most perfect circumstances to try something like that; with two races at the same venue on consecutive weeks.

        1. Brawn suggested non-competitive races for doing tests to the format.
          Format testing during a competitive season is exactly the adhoc mismanagement that F1 has been suffering from this century.

          1. 100% agree with SadF1fan.

          2. When will F1 ever run a non-championship event to test things?
            It’s too expensive these days to do anything like that.

            And it’s not during a *normal* competitive season – just as there would never be two consecutive races at the same circuit in a normal season.
            As far as opportunities for testing a concept go, this is the best there will ever be.

            If you ever wonder why F1 makes bad choices, this is equally a good example of why.
            Inability to test a concept in practice prior to it’s full introduction/complete dismissal based on actual evidence.

            1. S on this topic I agree with you. Not on your every word about it but in general. I too think they had a great opportunity to experiment and it would have meant a little more action and variety on the second same-track race of the coming back-to-backs. Oh I wasn’t eagerly awaiting a reverse grid quali race such that now I am disappointed, but I have been all for the experiment going back to last year when it was first brought up. I have been all for seeing it to then make a judgement call on it.

              Where we may differ on this is that I don’t think it is an example of bad decision making on F1’s part, because I think it doesn’t get much more fair than putting this to the teams for a vote and wanting a unanimous decision. I respect them for considering all teams and not just the top ones as was done under BE.

            2. @robbie
              Giving the teams a say is commendable – as they are no longer just entrants or competitors, they are, in effect, investors – stakeholders.
              However, giving the teams 100% of the power to decide is not right, as it excludes all other stakeholder’s needs and desires. F1 needs income, it’s media partners need viewers and advertisers, all the 3rd party organisations need to get returns on their investments etc…
              Allowing the teams full control in this manner denies everyone in the whole ecosystem.

              The requirement for a unanimous decision isn’t representative of the group as a whole – only 20% of the teams voted no, in this case – which would lead to a better system running on majority share.
              We know from every other unanimous decision that it normally takes a lot of parleying and negotiation – and even some secret deals – to reach 100% in F1.

            3. Fair comment, S.

            4. I understand your sentiment ‘S’, but how can we judge whether it is good just from one or two races? We can’t. I’ll tell you what would have happened, we would have seen a couple of races with more crashes and everyone would have gone, yeah this is great without thinking of the long term consequences.

              Reverse grids are a BS idea full stop, that shouldn’t even be tested because what judges a success is not defined. Leave it to the lower formula, we’ve already had our fair share of ‘temporary’ gimmicks in F1 that have undermined things such as DRS, convenient ways to bury under the carpet bigger issues such as too much aero on cars that are too heavy. Reverse grids will just distract from that again.

              Anyway, rant over. Thank god we didn’t see it in F1.

            5. Well, we certainly can’t judge whether it is actually good or bad from pure assumption, can we?
              If crashes occur, maybe the drivers were not driving with due care. If the car parts are too expensive – that’s a team issue, not a regulatory one.
              The long term consequences might just be increased income into F1, which in turn gets apportioned out to the teams as their primary income – hardly a big loss.

              The definition of ‘success’ or ‘failure’ in this case ultimately comes down to viewer numbers and finances – as does everything else in F1.
              There are loads of ‘gimmicks’ in F1 that aren’t even considered gimmicks because their inclusion largely creates a positive outcome or is disguised under a different purpose. DRS is just one – qualifying formats, tyre types/compounds, certain car design aspects such as aerodynamic devices and flappy paddle gearboxes are others – it depends entirely on what you like as to whether you see it as a gimmick or a feature.

              I look forward to the concept returning to the table towards the end of the year for inclusion next year ;)

      2. Nik (@nickelodeon81)
        22nd June 2020, 8:58

        They were stupid enough to try Bernie’s 90 second countdown nonsense. Why not try this at least once?

    3. Robert McKay
      20th June 2020, 9:49

      They should have tried it but it wouldn’t have worked anyway as the big three teams are in a different league and would cruise up through the field quickly anyway – especially when they get the DRS and when you have places like Austria where overtaking is relatively straightforward. I’d bet on one of the top teams being in the lead inside 10 laps around Austria, even starting from the back.

      Maybe around circuits where passing was difficult the big teams would find it a bit more challenging, but they’d still win at the vast majority of them anyway, with the current cars at least.

      It’d have been good though to show how incredibly unbalanced the sport was by demonstrating that you had put the best teams on the very back row and they’d still won with ease. We could finally lay to rest the whole idea that the sport could be made exciting and with more varied winners just by reversing some grids, an idea that persistently hangs around as something that could save the sport with all the subtlety and realism of saving the planet from an incoming asteroid by launching a nuke at it.

      Having finally shown that that wouldn’t be sufficient to do what everyone really wants it to do – give the smaller teams the chance to win the odd race here and there and be semi-regular on the podium – we could get back to the business of levelling the playing field properly (which to be fair they have started to do recently, even if it was coronavirus-enforced, but there’s still more to be done there).

        1. It is a mathematical truth.
          Check the time tables: top 3 teams are regularly 1 to 2 seconds faster them the rest of te field.
          Add to this that s much more probable that the low and mdeium tier team would have to run on a more conservative PU mode than top teams.
          It would be surprising to me that after 5 laps on a quali race, top 3 teams cars are not above 10th on the track.

          1. It’s not about the destination though – it’s about the journey.
            (It’s not about the race result, it’s more about what happens during the race.)

    4. No.
      F1 dodged the bullet and another atrocity.

    5. Is this just because F1 honchos heard about the cult YouTube popularity of reverse Daf racing?

      Please let it die. No-one wants to see random grids in F1.

      1. It’s only a grid order.
        What happens during the race is far more important.

    6. He’s right tho. Whether they should do it or not us an entirely different question, but if they were ever gonna try it, Austria 2.0 was the event.

      At least with 2 races at Silverstone, you get classic British weather. How common is it for two weekends in a row to be great weather?

      Hopefully we will get one wet and one dry race, then there is our variation done naturally.

    7. The top teams and drivers would have nightmares should both of the Haas cars start anywhere near the front. They’re bad enough under normal circumstances, but knowing they’re allowed to block faster cars would probably turn that race into a disastrous crash fest.

      And Potty Mouth knows exactly how bad both of his drivers are.

    8. As much as I’m against reverse grids, I do fully agree with Steiner that this is the time to test it.
      It would have been for a qualifying event only (we’ve had worse qualifying events) and then only for the second event at the same circuit.

      I propose two changes though if it is ever discussed again:
      1) the reverse grid based on the actual qualification result of the week before (nobody will perform worse in qualifying for a race one week to start a qualifying race from a better position);
      2) start the qualifying race behind the safety car to minimise the risk of crashes in the first corner.

      1. @coldfly How about never testing it? Wouldn’t that be even better then?

        Or at best, test it in E-sports races first.

        As 2) That also makes it pretty much impossible to make up a significant amount of positions.

        1. Your argument about never testing it is about as useful and productive as that of a spoiled little kid who says that they hate a certain food that they’ve never tried.
          Once they try it, they discover it’s actually pretty good. When you tell them they’ve been eating it for years hidden in their favourite food, they’ll realise they just learned something about judging things without getting to know them first.

          And virtual races do it all the time. F2 does it all the time (top 8 only). Other real series have done and do still do it.
          Do you not watch anything other than F1?

          1. Going with your food analogy. How about I make you a meal of fugu (Japanese puffer fish). I’ve never made it before and if I get if wrong, you could make you very ill. Gonna take that gamble, because a lot of Japanese do every day.

            1. @ Jon Bee
              Well, apart from the fact that a reverse grid race is unlikely to poison anybody….
              I’d take it from someone who’s tried preparing it before, thank you very much, and I’d insist that you and I try it together. That’s just good omotenashi ;)
              Having sampled many foods in Japan that I’d never had before – I can honestly say that many of my preconceptions were wrong. The thought of eating gyutan (beef tongue) seemed quite unappealing to me until I went to a yakiniku restaurant. My life changed forever that night…

          2. S, in which case, can you provide evidence that the use of reverse grid races has actually had a measurable benefit in viewer engagement, resulted in increased popular awareness and a growth in fan base or otherwise resulted in a noticeable and sustained increase in the number of casual fans?

            Can you provide any evidence from those casual fans that they were drawn to watching those series as a consequence of the use of reverse races, or evidence that the use of reverse grid races has made viewers happier and resulted in the benefits you claim accrue from reverse grid races?

            1. I’m not your secretary or PA. You do the research if you are so keen on hard statistics.

              You still keep talking as if the reverse grid trial is to be a permanent replacement for qualifying at all races for ever, not just a couple of one-offs under special circumstances this year.
              You are blowing its magnitude and effect way out of proportion.

            2. S, as you are the one advocating for that cause, the onus is on you to prove the case that you are trying to argue with evidence to then validate those claims – if you don’t want to research your own arguments and to provide evidence to support them, then that is to the detriment of your case.

            3. I feel no need to prove anything to you at all. No ‘evidence’ is required here.
              I am putting forward my opinion, and at no point have I ever stated that a majority of anybody other than the F1 teams want to run it. That much is fact.

              You are stretching the argument just as far as you are stretching the gravity and consequences of trialing the concept itself – far beyond reality.

              I think your real concern should be that Liberty will force it through next year without having run any trials. Then you’ll be stuck with it not for 2 races, but for an entire season.

      2. The fans don’t like it, the drivers don’t like it. What else do we need to know? Can we drop it now… Keith? Please?

        1. Plenty of fans like it. The drivers don’t make the rules. And, 8 of the 10 teams were willing to give it a go.

          1. “plenty” on a forum does not make a majority. The drivers may not make the rules but they seat in a better place than we do to tell you what make the difference between a video game on “low damage” and real cars on real tarmac. Also with the “sister team” system in place now, I suspect some of these driver get weary of becoming instruments of some tactical game (Piquet style). Eight out of ten teams knew that it was a no risk situation to look good with FOM as they knew at least one of them will oppose the idea :) And the other one might not have been worm to the idea of being the meat in the sandwich, when inevitably, the few in the front slow the all train down and the fast one in the back try to bash their way thru that artificially created mess.

            1. ‘Plenty’ on a forum don’t matter, and neither does a majority. The rules F1 uses aren’t determined on public opinion in forums.
              The drivers want to race, they want to overtake. Sure, the idea may not perfect, but they’d still do it if it was run that way.
              The political tactics don’t make any difference as there are teams from all sides at both ends of the grid, except for Renault who don’t really play that game with their customers.
              There are quotes from at least 4 of the teams actively showing support for the concept – Red Bull, Ferrari, Haas and McLaren from memory. Alpha Tauri would no doubt support it, as would Alfa Romeo. I wouldn’t be surprised if Williams did too, as they would get some TV time finally.
              The fast ones at the back try to bash their way through? You think?

            2. Carbonized, nobody has ever produced any polls or any consultation with fans or potential fans that has shown that there is any majority for holding races with reversed grids.

              Fan surveys have repeatedly come back with a solid majority against reverse grid races, and similarly surveys undertaken by broadcasters such as Sky have also come back with a majority against the idea as well. Whilst the poster called “S” has been consistently trying to claim that “Plenty of fans like it.”, at no point have they actually provided any evidence for that beyond just repeating the claim again and again that there is supposedly this mass support out there for the measure.

              S, not all of those within Red Bull were in favour of the idea either – Horner might have spoken in favour, but Marko, when asked about it, has made it clear that he hates the idea.

            3. @anon
              The poster called ‘S’ has only once said “plenty of fans like it” – just above.
              And there are ‘plenty’ of comments in support of giving it a trial run right in this very comments section. Might not be a majority, but so what? People who don’t watch F1 because it’s boring are hardly going to seek out surveys about F1 are they? Doesn’t mean they wouldn’t watch it if it became more interesting.
              A survey only captures the opinions of those who wish to give one.

              Red Bull’s team principle says he’s willing to give it a run for the sake of F1 and (therefore) his team’s future income – that’s good enough for me. As team principle, I imagine his opinion represents the company well enough. Helmut’s just Helmut.

              If you hate the idea so much and think it is so bad – why not support a trial and let it fail on it’s own merit?
              Then you can jump on here and proudly tell everyone how right you were about how bad it would be.
              Once we’ve all seen it for ourselves, we’ll all know for sure how it works specifically in F1.

            4. S, so, by your dismissive “so what” and your own acceptance that your idea is only supported by a minority, you are demanding the right to impose your idea onto others in precisely the sort of undemocratic way your have complained about and in a way that is calculated to antagonise and alienate fans because you are unable to accept any criticism or evidence to the contrary that people don’t want reverse grids.

            5. ‘My idea’ was someone else’s idea – I just support trialing it in the real world, exactly as the proposal stated.
              8 out of 10 F1 teams agree that it’s worth a trial in these circumstances this year….
              That’s not a minority… It is, however, quite democratic.

              If fans don’t like like it and it doesn’t result in the required outcomes, it probably wouldn’t live long beyond those two trials.
              I understand they YOU don’t want to see *only two (2) short reverse grid qualifying races* under such special circumstances as F1 and the world finds itself in this (and only this) year.
              Like me, you don’t speak for everyone either. We are both entitled to argue for whichever side we like.

              I would happily accept the idea as a failure when it has been proven so – but you don’t seem to be able to open your mind equally far as to support a trial run to see what happens.

              Can I just clearly remind you again – this was only proposed for two events this year, at the second event each at Austria and Silverstone, just to avoid the chance of having two identical events on consecutive weeks.

            6. S, and what even would you consider to be a “success” or a “failure” of the concept in the first place? You seem to have left that so vaguely defined as to be able to spin any outcome of the race as a “successful” implementation of the idea.

            7. My idea of success or failure is irrelevant. I don’t work for Liberty Media, the FIA or F1.

              A ‘success’ could be as simple as reaching a certain relative viewership in the second weekend (containing the reverse grid qualifying race) at each circuit – if the viewer numbers are the same or better for the second, that could be considered a win for the concept. As could favourable polls or surveys. As could team feedback, or a growth in the number of advertisers and sponsors willing to participate. Just having an entertaining race with the faster guys fighting with each other while making their way through the slower cars could subjectively be enough for Liberty and F1 to approve of it.

              A ‘failure’ might be excessive damage (but probably not, as that’s entertaining), it might be that the reverse qualifying and GP were actually no more interesting after all, or it was actually too difficult for the leaders to come through. Maybe the majority of the teams retract their support after the trials. Perhaps Liberty themselves change their mind afterwards, deciding that that is actually not the sporting direction they want to take F1 in.
              I don’t know. But I’ll bet they won’t care much about what a handful of commenters here think.

    9. “I’m always of the opinion we should not be afraid of trying something new”
      Sure, but that doesn’t mean that any nonsensical idea needs to be tried.

      Do we also need to try Ecclestone’s ideas like having short cuts and installing sprinklers?

      I get it though. It’s same as when they were clamoring to get the tyres changed last year. Haas was in a bad position and for them that made sense to desire to shake things up and hope the dice would fall in your favor.

      1. Sprinklers would actually be a great idea, provided their use was entirely predetermined before the beginning of the race weekend.

        I didn’t hear Mercedes complaining too much when the tread depth was reduced… They knew it was going to help them.

        1. S, a change on technical grounds made by an external supplier is a rather different matter, particularly when Vettel, after initially complaining, later said he was wrong to complain and the change was the correct one to make after Ferrari conducted back to back tests of the thinner and conventional gauge tyres and found that they were actually having far worse problems with tyre blistering with the conventional gauge tyres.

          If anything, Ferrari actually gained from the change as they were having quite significant problems with their rear tyres overheating – so reducing the treat gauge and therefore reducing the rate of heat build-up in the rear tyres was a change that was favourable for them too, rather than being detrimental.

          1. There are more teams in F1 than just the two biggest and wealthiest ones…

        2. What about a reality show on Friday and Saturday night to determine the grid? Something like Fear Factor. Would really draw in the casuals who are the source of future fans.

      2. Sprinklers for the second round of the double headers actually makes sense, kind of. I never thought I’d miss Bernie but I sure do.

    10. When is this idea going to die.

      Every time it gets a mention, it seems that we get a new bunch of accounts sign up to this site to loudly proclaim its benefits and tell us how dumb we are for not wanting any part of it. Kinda reminds me of the way fake twitter accounts are used to try and influence people.

      What does it take for people to understand that a reverse grid race where every single one of the cars starts out of position is NOT the same as one or two faster cars starting at the back of the field? The midfield cars have huge issues passing each other so there will be a massive bottleneck that the gas cars will hit and which will back them into each other as well. The result won’t be fast cars easily passing the field, they’ll barely be able to pass and almost certainly will have difficulty doing it safely because the cars in front won’t be making it easy for them as the do currently in reaches.

      Take the idea and bury it please. Leave qualifying alone. It’s not broken and doesn’t need fixing.!!!!!!

      1. Amen brother!!!!!!

      2. The last FOM questionnaire asked about reverse grids and it was rejected by 85% of those who replied. It’s unlikely there’s been any significant change since that time. It would appear some unnamed fool at LM has got this stupid idea stuck in his head and until it’s kicked into touch, it will keep on coming up. Its about time Ross Brawn told the truth, a week ago he was claiming he had no idea where it came from, now he appears to be promoting it. I understood he was the racing guru at LM, he’s coming across as their stooge every time he gives an interview.

      3. I agree. I suspect the main attraction for Steiner is having his cars starting nearer the front of a grid, any grid, instead of their normal place at the back of the race grid. When Steiner’s cars start regularly finishing races in the points then this idea will be completely forgotten.

    11. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      20th June 2020, 12:25

      A reverse grid wouldn’t really have changed much given the usual top three teams would be back in front after a handful of laps anyway as the performance disparity between them and the rest of the grid is so large. But it would make those laps quite exciting to see a Haas, a Racing Point and Alpha Tauri battle it out for the top three – until normal service is inevitably resumed.

      Every time we have a race where a Ferrari/Mercedes/Red Bull starts way out of expected position it’s quite enjoyable to see them fight their way back to the front and gives chances to teams that are almost never up there to do something special. The reverse grid idea had a lot of potential from a spectator standpoint. Maybe not quite so much from a buisness/competition one, but F1’s a show – and as people have pointed out this unique year is literally the best chance to try ideas like this out. This lack of experimentation or willingness to adopt change is a bad look.

      1. @rocketpanda

        it’s quite enjoyable to see them fight their way back to the front

        In the past maybe it was fun to see a driver start at the back fight through, But the past decade with things like DRS i’ve not really got much enjoyment out of watching of the faster cars easily DRS their way past a slower car as if they were been waved past.

        And there is a difference between a car starting at the back due to issues of some sort & all the top drivers been artificially forced to start at the back due to the grid been artificially reversed purely to create some gimmicky artificial show for the low attention span casuals who need constant action & carnage with everything been mixed up because they don’t care about the actual sport.

        It’s the nascar-ification of F1 & considering how nascar has declined the more artificial gimmicks they have thrown at it i think it is clear that all throwing more artificial gimmicks at f1 will do is turn people away. there is a reason f1 stands above everything else, it’s the one place thats left where those who are more on the purist side that despise artificial gimmicks can still watch.

        1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
          20th June 2020, 13:53

          Dismissing people interested in this concept as ‘low attention span casuals’ is literally F1’s biggest problem. Casuals bring money. Casuals bring interest. Casuals, if they stick about – become fans. Casuals are the absolute last people you want to alienate or push away because they outnumber ‘purists’ by a huge amount. This is why F1 has a reputation as being stuffy, old, unapproachable and resistant to do new things. Casuals are the people we as purists and supporters should WANT to attract!

          Does anybody truly enjoy processional races where drivers finish exactly where they started, where you spend 50-odd laps waiting for the potential of (1) overtake? I don’t think anyone’s advocating for direct lottery levels of carnage but a more level playing field, some variety – a little unpredictability. Anyway F1 has experimented, changed and adapted even in my lifetime, let alone before so some experimentation, variation and change is often needed and it’s certainly needed now.

          1. F1 has a purist problem. For some reason, unlike most other sports, F1 forums are way too opposing to new ideas. Steiner is absolutely right. Give it a go and don’t be afraid to call it a fail when it is.

            No one cares about grid girls or the halo anymore.

          2. @rocketpanda I agree to an extent, However I would also argue that you don’t want to alienate the more dedicated fans simply to go after the casuals because while the casuals will come & go, It’s the dedicated fans that will stick around long term & where you will end up making most of your money as it’s them who will buy merch, Subscribe to things like F1TV, Regularly attend races & so on.

            @roger-ayles has a point when he brings up NASCAR who have gone out of there way the past 20-25 years to cater to the more casual fan at the expense of the more purist/dedicated. And while it did bring an initial boom in popularity, That very quickly faded & NASCAR has been left with a significantly smaller fanbase as a result as the casuals didn’t stick around & the ‘gimmicks’ & other more show based elements turned most of the more dedicated fans off.

            You sort of saw the same in Indycar when they tried to emulate the NASCAR style pack racing. Seeing cars side by side lap after lap with upto 100 lead changes brought in the casuals for a very brief period but most of the longer time/more dedicated fans saw through it & walked away.

            You have to be careful with this stuff because you can go too far & it can be hard to come back from it as it’s hard to bring people back when you lose them.

            1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
              20th June 2020, 18:21

              @gt-racer I’d say the trick is making it accessible to people that have followed the sport for years and people that are watching their first race – I’d agree it’s a balancing act and going too far one way, either way, would be bad.

              But the argument stands that this is a one-off chance. We’re unlikely to get a better opportunity to do it than now, and at the moment it’d be only this one time anyway. We’ve already seen stuff like double points finales and that abysmal qualifying format arrive and disappear so I don’t understand the huge outcry over something that could be a one-off mistake or a long-term success. It’s the resistance and outright attack towards any form of change that bothers me as if F1 wants to survive it’s going to have to do that.

            2. @rocketpanda As i’ve said a few times i’d like to know what they would deem a success or failure because as it stands right now i’ve zero trust that it won’t be something that becomes more permanent regardless of the way the ‘trials’ work out because if the definition of success is ‘have a lot of passing & a mixed up grid’ then that is exactly what the proposal will produce.

              As to why i’m against it…. It’s not simply because i’m against change, It’s because i’ve seen other series run various forms of reverse grids, qualifying races etc.. & i’ve never liked them. I don’t like gimmicks & I don’t like the more artificial things introduced purely to ‘spice things up’.

              I’m open to change, I’d have stopped watching years ago if I wasn’t as F1 has changed a lot the past 31 years. However there are certain things in terms of gimmicks & artificial elements that are a red line for me & reverse grids has always been one of them.

        2. @roger-ayles
          If you don’t get any enjoyment from watching cars racing together, then you certainly can’t get much out watching them not race each other after starting fastest to slowest and spreading further apart for the entire 305km ‘race’.
          Maybe you should watch some rally or hillclimb events instead – time-trials might suit your taste a little better.

          ‘Low attention span casual’ ?? Really? Insults are very productive…
          Don’t know about you, but I’ve been watching for more than 30 years now, and I fully support trialing the reverse grid qualifying races at a couple of (very specific) events this year.

          What sport is there in F1? It’s almost pure business now.

        3. @roger-ayles I agree with you in principle, although not with the part about DRS. It’s the significance of the pace advantage why Mercedes, Ferrari, and RB have ‘generally’ been able to finish in the top-six when starting far out-of-position. Yes, in the last race in Abu Dhabi, Bottas only got past Hulkenberg once DRS became available again, but this was only an exception to the rule. Most of the time, the outcome is (or would be) the same with or without DRS.

    12. It’s a pity that a lot of F1 followers can’t through the veil drawn over this concept by both Mercedes silver and pink teams, They are not interested in what the reverse grid may do vis a vis some excitement having the fastest cars start behind the rest of the field. They are only interested in protecting their drivers from having to race hard and earn their victories by actually racing the entire field. It’s wrong that just two teams out of ten can prevent a test to see what will occur. It was only ever going to be at the double headers anyway.

      1. But … we alrady have the kind of exitement you are talking about… it’s called DSR.

        1. @Carbonised….Wrong, but for reverse grids they should disconnect DRS. Now that would be fun….

      2. Too much excitement for them, perhaps. Might blow their anoraks off.

        1. @ Synonomous…hahaha goocd one.

    13. I would have loved a qualy race on Saturday, but the main problem besides being a bit gimmicky would be accidents and spare parts shortages. This would either prevent some drivers to compete in the main race on Sunday, or increase costs with repairs and parts.

      1. Very good point! And you know where running over you allotted # of gear boxes get you? To the back of the grit! :)

    14. Why reverse grid? We don’t want to advance too slow (towards wherever it is that we’re going). I suggest random grids, followed by random driver selection (a draw before each race, like NBA pre-season draw, where teams select their drivers for the next race). We most definitely need fan boost from F-E as well, but make it more Mario Cart-ish (add some nice visuals, perhaps a bursting flame from the rear end of a car, some SCI-FI sound effects would be nice too). And may I ask, why always the driver to finish the race first wins most points? It would be way more intretesting if the 7th place would bring 25 points, then maybe 3rd place, followed by 12th place as the last one on the podium. This would introduce new strategic elements, unpredictability and more equal chances for everybody. Cars are too reliable these days, if I may add. So let’s counter fan boost with some sort of fan gremlin app or something. Perhaps a mini game, where we try to deactivate some engine parts or whatever. The player who scores most points gets to decide which car to retire from the race by blowing its engine via the app. Opportunities are endless, screw racing, sportsmanship, competition, make it a show. I’ll watch something else, that’s easy at least.

    15. Electroball76
      20th June 2020, 14:07

      Watching evenly matched cars and drivers battle for corner after corner is great. Watching championship leaders stuck behind back markers for lap after lap because of aero issues is not so interesting.
      If they want car parity they will turn it into a spec series.
      If they want points or cash parity they will fudge the rules.
      They will never have driver parity, but drivers are seen as less important – just another piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
      I think either they turn it into IndyCar or they allow plenty of testing for all teams and drivers to max out their potential.
      Or pick car keys out a goldfish bowl.

    16. How would it work in Monaco and other street tracks, or permanent tracks that wouldnt allow for overtaking
      Would we have two different quali systems durign a normal season?
      I mean, why tested that if it wouldnt be appplied in every race on a regular season?
      Some short tracks would be perfect for that. I am not sure how it would work on long ones.
      Do F1 really want to test that? Set simulations with serious gamers and qith cars showing real performance differences.

      1. It’s not being proposed for Monaco or other tracks where passing is a big issue.
        It’s being proposed for the second events at Austria and Silverstone this year. Only. Because this year is stuffed financially and F1 needs every single viewer and sponsor/advertiser/media outlet it can attract.

      2. @Gusmaia The length of the track in question isn’t relevant. It would equally work in Spa as it would at Red Bull Ring, etc.

    17. Keep lining up from fastest cars to slowest cars and then expect flat out racing. F1 fans are weird.

      1. No interest in this and the only reason Steiner and other midfield teams might want it, is so they can luck into a win. Some ideas do not need testing to know they’re awful, such as 1 lap qualifying, 1 set of tyres for the entire race, double point races, eliminations each minute, etc, etc.

        1. @slowmo You think Haas are under the illusion that they can win? That’s really funny if you believe that.

          Every idea needs testing. That’s how you turn assumption and supposition into knowledge and fact.
          I wonder if you accept that the Earth is round and not flat? A lot of people thought it was flat until it was tested – and some still believed it after it was proven to be round. Some still do even to this day, despite the evidence.
          Sounds a lot like an F1 fan, to me.

          1. I have an idea that need to be tested before it’s dismissed. Now that we have the six fasted guy in the back, we replace their Formula one cars with Monster trucks! At track like Monaco that would be interesting, entertaining, super exciting. And oh, we give the fans the power to keep DRS open at random on any car of their choice Once a race only. What do you think? Oh come on don’t poopoo it before it’s been tested…..

            1. fastest guys… sorry

          2. Stupid idea is stupid, it doesn’t need testing. You don’t sound like a F1 fan so go watch the other motorsport series you are interested in and leave F1 alone. The current system rewards the best driver and team partnerships on both Saturday and Sunday. This silly idea doesn’t and as such does not need testing to see its a bad idea in a SPORT.

            For the record I think Steiner would absolutely be under the illusion he could get 1 good result weekend from this stupid nonsense to save his hide. Everybody who is not a fool can see midfield cars will drop a few penalties to get a new engine and gearbox to guarantee pole the following race that they can run flat out for a good result. It will guaranteed make a mockery of the prior weeks qualifying and produce a complete mess the week after.

            The only reason some teams agreed to it is quite clearly because they are politicking to try and get their way with the new rules.

            1. I don’t call myself an F1 fan, that is true. When you tell people that you like F1, they make an immediate judgement about you as a person, and I don’t want to be instantly identified as a cardigan-wearing pedant who is unable to accept change, even though F1 goes through more changes than any other motorsport series.

              F1 would still reward the ‘best’ team on Saturday and Sunday, as the only thing that really counts is where they finish. The faster they are and the better their racecraft is, the higher their finishing position. What happens during the races is actually what we all want to see.
              I can see that you, too, do not understand how the reverse grid racing system was to work. Please do your research.

            2. Why don’t you go away and stop trying to argue with people with passive aggressive insults. The idea is stupid, you’ve ignored every counter argument and clearly as you don’t like the sport you have no vested interest in the damage of just trying stuff for the sake of it.

              Putting the top 3 cars to the back is all well and good and everyone cheers you’ll get some action as they move through the field but the counter is the tight midfield battle. This is where someone finishing a great one off result of 7th-10th is suddenly relegated to 14th-11th and will not just breeze past other midfield cars so a great qualifying result is rewarded with a crap result the following race.

              The entire idea has not been considered in the slightest and will cause harm to the sports reputation if even trialled. We already have people dismissing the relevance of this years championship due to missing races without adding a system that cast further doubt. There is literally no argument you’ve given that makes it worth the risk.

              Please grow up or go hide under your bridge.

            3. I have as much right to put forward my preferences as you do. I haven’t ignored any counter arguments at all – I’ve read every comment in this article. Should I have responded to every single one?
              Quite the opposite – I do have a vested interest in it – which is why I want to see it be as entertaining and enjoyable to watch as possible. After a decade of one team or another dominating, it’s time something was done to improve the experience for the viewers, and maybe attract new ones. Liberty seems to agree with my stance, and they own the rights to it – so I guess my opinion, and several others here supporting *two trial events this year,* isn’t completely isolated. We are all allowed to have different opinions.

              Yeah, there will be winners and losers. That’s racing.
              Given that the midfield is pretty tight (or was at times last year, as a guide) they will have a good battle with each other. Good on them. They aren’t all guaranteed any particular result or order at any circuit, so it’s not really changing much. They’ll also be able to take advantage of different strategies to try to finish the race in front of their opponents. Sounds entertaining and exciting, doesn’t it?

              Great qualifying result? What do you mean? The reverse grid race IS the qualifying. You still didn’t read about how it was to work, then? The appropriate information is on this site if you search. Don’t just stop at the headline this time ;)

              It’s been well considered, don’t worry. That’s why the idea made it as far as proposing a couple of trial runs. Twice. And it will be discussed again in the future – most likely for next year.
              F1’s reputation is in the toilet already – that’s why these sorts of concepts are coming up – it’s dull and predictable and nobody new wants to come and watch it – we can already predict with great accuracy who will win the championship and the first race hasn’t even started yet.
              This year’s championship is always going to have an asterisk beside it in the history books. It’s not going to run as it was intended, and there are aspects that are compromised.

              You reject my point of view, that’s fine. You even throw insults at me, and that’s fine too.
              But remember that I didn’t come up with this idea, I merely support it and have an interest in how it would work out in reality – regardless of whether it was accepted or rejected permanently thereafter.

              Without experimentation there can be no progress. I shouldn’t need to tell that to someone who is obviously exceedingly passionate (read: obsessed) with F1 – given that without the teams applying the same concept, they would all still be racing front-engined cars with no aerodynamics and inline 6 cylinder naturally aspirated engines.

            4. You still didn’t address any points about how you literally penalise people for success with this proposal. That is not the action of a sport. Read back on who started throwing insults at people first and that’s throughout the comments not just this reply chain and it wasn’t me.

              If you want to make the competition closer you have to neutralise the advantage of the top teams. The budget cuts are a start, getting rid of these complex engines would be another. Reduce the aero complexity again as per 2009. Remove the restrictions on running different tyre compounds in a race. There is a lot more options that can be taken before adding gimmicks to try and create artificial racing. If your goal is to make the championship less predictable then this is not the answer and your hoping for a change that will not achieve your aims.

            5. I don’t need to address any points about penalizing success, because the system doesn’t do that. It merely changes the order that the cars start a short qualifying race in.

              I totally agree with you, the technical regulations are F1’s biggest problems and changing the sporting regulations won’t solve the technical issues. The technical issues need to be addressed directly with proper technical solutions – unfortunately, many self-described ‘F1 fans’ and many of F1’s stakeholders (ie the teams) oppose changes that ‘dumb down’ the cars, or promote competition over ‘meritocracy’.
              However, that’s not the entire function of a reverse grid qualifying race though – the idea is to make for a more interesting, exciting and unpredictable couple of events at two particular venues this year. As has been made extremely clear throughout this comments section.

              It’s not ‘my goal’ to do anything other than see it in action. I didn’t come up with the concept, I didn’t suggest it to F1, I didn’t put it to the teams. I’m just a viewer who wants to know if it would be any good or not in reality – and nobody can know that until it’s has been tried at a real event.
              If it’s bad, fine. Bin the idea permanently. At least action was taken to learn something.

    18. When you punish someone for doing well, can you even call it a competition, or a sport? I’m glad Toto made sure that we will have a final season of F1 as a sport. Then, from 2021, I will (15 years after Fernando) no longer consider Formula One a sport (thanks to the aero handicap).

    19. I’m glad this didn’t work. There are already too many races. I’m already close to not watching any. I’m not going to go from 22 to 16 as a casual. I’m going to go from 44 to 0. Who has time for all of this?

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