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F1 drops reverse grid plan in new push for Saturday sprint races in 2021

2021 F1 season

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Formula 1 will make another attempt to win teams over to its plan for Saturday sprint races, which has been rejected on three occasions in the last two seasons.

However it has decided to drop a key and much-criticised aspect of its proposal: Using a grid based on the reverse of drivers’ championship positions.

“Reverse grid is over,” new Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali told motorsport media including RaceFans at a briefing today.

Under the original plan for Saturday sprint races, the field would have lined up in reverse championship order. The finishing positions from the race would have set the starting order for Sunday’s grand prix.

Teams have voted on the proposal three times – once in 2019 and twice last year – but it has repeatedly failed to gain the necessary support.

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Domenicali took over from Chase Carey and chairman and CEO of Formula 1 last month. He said the sport should be open-minded about adapting its format but is wary of changing it too much, as previously happened with qualifying.

Stefano Domenicali
“Reverse grid is over” – Domenicali
“I think that it’s important to think maybe of new ideas of being more attractive or interesting,” he said. “We don’t have to lose the traditional approach of racing.

“What we learned in the period where we were changing qualifying every two days has been something that has burned our fingers. So we need to avoid that. Now I think that the formula is quite stable.”

The former Ferrari team principal confirmed he is open to testing a revised sprint race format without the reverse grid element.

“What we are looking at for sure is what could be the approach of the so-called sprint race on Saturday. We are thinking if this could be tested already this year.

“There are discussions going on with the teams in the right forum. And I think that maybe this could be the only one thing that could be interesting.”

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

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80 comments on “F1 drops reverse grid plan in new push for Saturday sprint races in 2021”

  1. I really hope they do try out a sprint race – or anything rather new or different. If it doesn’t work, don’t keep it – but if it does work we could all find something new and pretty cool to enjoy. I do believe F1 has to evolve and change, try new things and experiment with its format now and then.

    1. F1 by it’s nature is constantly evolving. I find it strange how the term “DNA” is often used as a reason NOT to change anything, when DNA itself is always mixing and adapting.
      Preserving tradition is one thing, but taking advantage of the “always on” world we have now means they have to evolve the format in some way. I agree that a smaller number of traditional races make them feel more special, but give me a choice and I’m going to ask for more content because I love motorsport.

    2. Is there another agenda here?

      Im sure they’ve thought through the implications. I can here them now.

      The ‘problem’ of boring races is due to the engines being more reliable than they use to be. Is there a way we can stress the engines prior to the actual race, with the entertaining prospect of more DNF’s in the main race?

      BTW has there been more DNF’s now that the switch from quali-mode has been banned. Are more teams taking chances racing in quali-mode?

  2. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

    1. The main reason I don’t want it is because it ruins the tradition of Formula 1. There can only be one race per weekend, and every race is preceded by a qualifying session. Otherwise, it ruins all the statistics and history books. If this happened in Formula e, I wouldn’t mind, because there have only been six seasons of it. But you just can’t break a seventy-year old tradition unless there is a problem with it, which there isn’t.

      1. this. We often debate what is the DNA of the Sport. Well it is Grand Prix racing. The big race. the GRAND PRIX. leave the clownery to All the other series.

        1. I agree.
          Its as simple as one Grand Prix each weekend…

        2. Must agree with this. It completely devalues the main event. It’s why I don’t really follow the lower formulas that have multiple races because you can only commit to watching so many things, especially as a shift worker who rarely gets full weekends off. Missing one of these big events live is a bit of a pain and makes me less likely to watch at all.

      2. what about a V10 sprint race, with all cars same engines. Bit of chassis development,
        would cost money though.

      3. @f1frog
        That’s a fat big +1 from me.

      4. I can see your point here, and I agree it’s important we value the history and traditions of the sport. But I also feel that responding with flat refusals to any attempt at improving the sport isn’t very helpful.

        Nobody is trying to devalue the sport, ruin statistics or make it a “clown series”. I personally am not the biggest fan of DRS or BOP for example. But I like the new windtunnel restrictions because it helps less successful teams catch up in a legitimate way instead of adding success ballast to a Mercedes – which sucks.

        Why not try new things that might make the sport better?

        1. @racerjoss ok, let me explain in more detail. I wouldn’t mind it so much in some forms, (although I’d still prefer for the format to be left the same).
          Let’s imagine Lewis Hamilton retires in a few years time, with 120 wins, plus 7 sprint race wins. How many Grands Prix has he won? 120 or 127? Now I think there should only be one Grand Prix per weekend, so I think the answer should be 120. Because of this, I think that if there were sprint races, they should not be classified as Grands Prix, and therefore, no points should be awarded for the sprint race. This would make it more like an extra qualifying session, and it would not be a double header. I think this version of sprint races is more acceptable. However, the current qualifying is very exciting, and I definitely do not want it scrapped, particularly as it’s the only session where the drivers are simply going as fast as they can. So one option is for to have a qualifying session that decides the grid for the sprint race, then a sprint race that decides the grid for the Grand Prix, which is the only session where points were awarded. However, the extra sprint race in between seems a bit pointless. There’s also still the issue of whether pole for the sprint race, or for the Grand Prix, count towards the pole positions total, but this is less of a problem than having two Grands Prix.

          But I still prefer the current format of one race, after a qualifying session of just trying to do the fastest lap. I know that sometimes things have to be changed because a sport is getting dull, but this is not a crisis time in Formula 1. I would argue that 2020 was the best season since 2012, as even though there wasn’t a championship battle, almost all the races were genuinely gripping, something that has not always been the case in Formula 1 history. So I see no need to change anything.

          1. @f1frog That’s quite interesting, I agree there should be a crescendo for each weekend – the main event.

            Saying that, I would expect a sprint race victory to be counted as a win. The drivers are still in the same cars, with the same challenges and competitors, they just use their resources differently (more attacking, less tyre management, no pit stops). For comparison, MotoGP races are roughly 45 minutes long and we consider them genuine races.

            F1 races are also limited by distance instead of time, so we have races at Monza that last 1hr 15m compared to Singapore or Monaco which often run to 2 hours. Is Monza a less valuable or legitimate race because of it?

            Finally, like most people you love the current qualifying format – as do I! But we only discovered this by experimenting and moving away from the 60 minute / 12 lap sessions. That format wasn’t broken either, but (following some mistakes) F1 made it better – by trying something new.

      5. History books/stats already don’t matter, and not just in F1. Randomly picking a season: 1966 had 9 races and 1st place was 9 points.

        Most sports “over all of history” comparisons are folly. Even something basic like how fast the mile is run in, due to training science.

        1. in some eras, like mid 60’s to mid 70’s, if you drove 5 F1 seasons, you had a 50/50 chance of dying. How do you compare career stats with those guys? You don’t.

      6. I believe every person creates their own tradition of F1 based on the era they watched the most.

        If I want to be facetious about it, I could say CFD is against the F1 tradition. If I want to be a morose about it, I could say safety is against what makes F1 exciting.

        There are ‘n’ number of aspects you could associate with a tradition. It is best just to move the times and let records be broken. As it is F1 is more about the machine than the man unlike athletic sports and hence I wouldn’t care that much about the names that go up against the records.

  3. Magnus Rubensson (@)
    4th February 2021, 22:22

    How about also changing the format of football matches so there are three teams and three goals?
    And two footballs.

    1. Gavin Campbell
      4th February 2021, 22:39

      Pretty much this.

      It’s great if you are attending – however it’s a drag trying to watch from home as it’s no longer a 1 or 2 hour slot.

      I’d much rather see something like a double header tried. So race Sat then Sun that are even or the like.

    2. football matches so there are three teams and three goals

      It does exist and is called three-sided football. They even had a World Cup I believe.
      As we all know it hasn’t replaced football proper (yet).

      Similarly in F1 I don’t mind testing a few new things occasionally. We can only really judge if it’s an improvement or not after experiencing it.

      I’m not sure what the role of a sprint race would be though, except if it is a way to determine the starting grid (replacing single lap quali). I struggle to see the benefit of having two race winners during a single weekend.

      1. @coldfly I envision that it wouldn’t be “a” sprint race thus resulting in having two race winners during a single weekend. And it will still be called qualifying even if they use a race to achieve it. And it wouldn’t be nearly as long as the Sunday race. What I envision is basically, without me hammering out the details to the nth degree, replacing the three Q sessions they have now, with three or four 5 to 10 car, 8 or 10 lap sprint races within the same one hour quali session. Each short action filled race eliminates some cars until at the end there is a final, let’s say, 5 car race for pole that sets the final top 5 order. Something like that anyway. I certainly wouldn’t be doing a full 20 car sprint race of some 45 minutes or it truly would feel like Sunday. No, I’d strive to make it short little all-out runs all within the same one hour.

        1. Not sure if many short sprint races with fewer cars would excite me more than one race with all cars just long enough for Mazepin to fall back from pole to last.

          But whatever it is, I don’t see the first to get the chequered flag as a ‘race winner’ but more as a quali winner and pole sitter.

    3. @magnusrubensson Perfect example. Football is huge despite hardly any goals, and there is never talk of fixing it to attract a younger audience. The honesty and integrity of something matters a lot.

      1. Yes there has been talk, @balue.
        How to improve the World Cup? Scrap penalties and move the goalposts (The Guardian)
        “The obvious solution is to make scoring during the match easier, or at least easier in extra time. Here proposals have been to remove some players from the field, or even to remove the goalies. A simpler option would be just to widen the goals, as when soccer was in its infancy in America. It means more goals and less risk of a draw.”

        1. @coldfly But that’s from media, which is just another fan. I’ve never heard it raised as a suggestion by FIFA or anyone associated with football. They’re almost too set in their ways as seen from their reluctance to use video when refereeing for example.

  4. I’ve no problem with a second race, as long as it is held on a different weekend and ideally at a different circuit. Not sure about the ‘sprint’ format either – best to keep it to the standard distance.

  5. Please F1, don’t take away the only session where the cars can go flat-out. You’ve already taken away the speed at the race with your mandatory tyre- & engine management/costsaving. Please DO NOT take away the only time we can see the drivers and cars go as fast as they can.

    1. Being a sprint race they probably could go flat out for the entire distance without regard for tyre or fuel management (& seasonal reliability too if they used a separate allocation of engines).
      Domenicali made specific reference to the last episode of qualifying format changes – from memory a failed experiment that was very short lived ie. dropped when not immediately proved better. So I’d be happy to watch them conduct it a few times (for tweaks, if they’re obvious) and the teams+FIA+F1 to gauge fanbase reactions & vote in their usual manner (given that berniesque vote manipulation isn’t that likely any more). While I don’t see it working that well, I’d be interested to see if & how certain teams could take advantage of the new conditions.

      1. @didaho They can’t drive flat out even on a single qualifying lap. What makes you think it’s possible in a race, no matter how long it is?

        1. Hmm, do you mean that as well as draining the battery when using it, it’s a shame they also have to slow for corners?

    2. MotoGP puts some worth to practice sessions by using it to determine the direct Q2 entrants. It is about time F1 does the same as practice generally ends up being about sandbagging or saving engine mileage.

      Would prefer a combination of practice times to set the sprint grid and the sprint grid to set up the feature race grid. Much better than an artificial reverse grid and more likelihood of a lead driver messing things up in the sprint race and having a go in the feature race.

  6. I would hate to lose qualifying but I do think the race weekend consists of way too much practice and not enough racing. My suggestion would be to make p2 a qualifying session for a half points Saturday sprint race and p3 a qualifying session for a full points normal Sunday afternoon Grand Prix.

    1. I think cutting down practice to one session (with exceptions made for events where practice draws huge crowds) would be hugely productive to improving the racing. To allow fans to see the cars on track more and have opportunities to sell practice drives or evaluate drivers, you could include sessions only available to non race drivers and there are many things you could do to keep them from acquiring data useful to the GP.

  7. I’d like to see F1 give this a try. I’ve often read on the internet that you shouldn’t mess with the weekend format, because it is traditional to have the Big Race on the Sunday, but I don’t really subscribe to that view. Given the times we have had a safety car on a boring Sunday race, and then, when the safety car ends, we effectively have a sprint race. Holy moly, they can be excellent. Monza 2020 anyone?

    F1 has tried things in the past and absolutely failed miserably (knockout qualifying springs to mind), but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t at least explore and try something new.

    1. Coventry Climax
      6th February 2021, 16:47

      Actually, I’d love to see the safety car abandoned in favor of some sort of speed and relative distance control. VSC is trying to do just that, and probably comes closest. I’ve also regularly said that I’d love to see the blue flags go, together with the ‘cars unlapping themselves’ farce. Safety cars do indeed split up a race, which is supposed to be ONE race, with ONE winner, into several short stints or sprints, whatever term you want. Specially with cars unlapping themselves, it a fresh ‘starting grid’ all over again. There’s many other options to make it more real again, which equals ‘more exciting’ in my view, instead of introducing yet another artificial joke.
      If you want sprint races, go watch other series.
      If they do become the norm, it’s just another thing that speeds up my leaving the sports, after following F1 for nearly 40 years.

  8. The weekend format is as good as it’s ever been. Sometimes qualifying is more exciting than the race! Trying to fix genuinely important problems (spending cap, for instance) is too hard, so let’s fix what isn’t broken.

    1. Indeed. Qualifying is more exciting than the race 75% of the time.

      F1 needs to also figure out how to back out of this new practice of safety cars deployments automatically every time a car spins out or breaks down but are nowhere near the path a car leaving the track at speed would ever arrive.

      1. @Nick T. Indeed. Full SC should only ever be a resort if there’s a realistic chance of cars on-track hitting it, not when a stranded is way out of the approaching drivers’ firing line and without requiring a recovery vehicle to enter a track, etc. VSC is faster, so it should be the priority as long as it’s suitable for the given situation.

        1. Even a Red Flag is a better (as in ‘fairer’) solution than bringing out the SC.

        2. ‘a stranded car’ I should’ve typed.

  9. Having weird “funny” ideas is easy. Who the heck said we want ideas from you? Most of us don’t want the sport to be changed, for we love the sport exactly because of what it is. Can you make things better without changing what Formula 1 is and turning it into a reality show? You’re too late for that anyway, there are crazy TV shows all around and they are slowly dying out. If you ever succeed with this intention I’ll make a complete switch to watching endurance racing, MotoGP and whatever is still there offering racing that doesn’t simulate video games (as opposed to what used to be normal, the other way around). Oh and by the way, this kind of fooling around really worked well for Formula E for example.

  10. To come with such short ideas is a lacklustre message from the FIA. I just don’t want to know how much of them are working on such tasks for such a poor outcome.

    I first thought F1 would still consider keeping the qualifying session in their sole idea of sprint-qualifying-race: Qualy, Sprint race in reverse championship order, Feature race with qualy times.

  11. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    4th February 2021, 23:10

    Why don’t actually sort out the problems with overtaking and the domination of Mercedes? Every other era of domination by one team they consistently handicapped the team in and post season. Do more of that rather than focusing on a gimmick that will get old in a few races.

  12. So first it was stupid, now only useless.

    1. I agree. What is the point of this sprint race? If it’s not going to be reverse grid, I assume the fastest cars will line up in the front. The result will be a shorter version of the Sunday race with minimal overtaking. How is the sprint race supposed to be different and exciting?

      1. Because they can go flat out for the full race? Not tyre saving, not fuel saving. Just go for it. Or do you not want to see the cars at 100% ?

        1. Coventry Climax
          6th February 2021, 16:54

          Yes we do. And it’s exactly what should happen each and every race, from start to finish. Repair that.

  13. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    5th February 2021, 0:31

    Every new CEO has the idea that they are being put in charge to mix things up and obviously this guy is no different. Don’t need to fix what isn’t broken, the format is traditional and beautiful. What needs fixed hopefully is coming in 2022 with the new regulations.

    1. @canadianjosh I’m fine with an experiment and I’m fine if they leave it alone, but I don’t mind the new guys at least asking the questions and exploring if there is a more exciting way, which frankly I think there could well be. They aren’t at all saying the current format is broken. Personally I find the current format exciting for about the last half of Q3 at most, so for about 5 or 6 minutes at the end of an hour.

    2. Coventry Climax
      6th February 2021, 16:55

      Yep, it’s like a new dog on an old street. Pee at every post, leave your mark.

  14. I actually wanted F1 to try reverse grid sprint race qualifying for a race or two but non-reverse grid sprint race qualifying? Surely we’ll just get an exciting start followed by a boring end? Full length GPs has tyre strategy in play. A normal sprint race without changing tyres would just be exciting at the start then cars stringing out as laps go by and the chequered flag falls.

  15. So what happens in the event that we have 20+ cars in the future due to cost cutting encouraging more entries. How do we decide which cars get to take the grid or do you just chuck all of them out there and hope for no big accidents. There is a reason for “qualifying” plus its the only thing in the sport not completely broken.

    1. That is unlikely to have ever be a problem F1 will have the luxury of having. Are people really thinking these issues are important when F1, as we know, is assured to die when the biggest car makers in the world have announced the end of ICE cars within a decade. F1 will be lucky to ever have another large manufacturer ever join again, which is why F1 needs to revert to a privateer led model.

  16. The whole idea is a bit weird… F1 doesn’t lend itself to sprint races with this formula. You would think they would wait until the new aero rules that are supposed to help with the dirty air situation.

    1. You would think so, right @skipgamer. I sure hope they do wait.

      Since sorting out the calendar will probably take a lot of energy this year, and then they have to look at some issues that will probably come up with the budget caps and aero limits etc. And then the engine situation, one would hope that they don’t get to start talking about making any steps towards changing any formats until we get some solid experience of the changes made to the cars.

  17. I’m totally for a sprint race with a reversed grid used as a qualifying session for the Sunday GP.
    However, there’s no point having a sprint race if it isn’t reversed.
    As noted above, current qualifying is often the best part of the entire weekend. If they are going to replace it, it needs to be with something that is likely to provide a better viewing experience – not a poorer one.

    If the above-mentioned sprint race isn’t a qualifying replacement, then at least it would be more interesting than a practice session, I guess. Possibly.

    1. Nail on head!

      I see no reason to diminish the ‘main event’ for the sake of a mini clone of it.

      I really enjoyed the prospect of the new reverse grid qualifying race. It encouraged everyone to race as hard as possible to solidify their qualify spot. It’s just a lively means of qualifying.

      Everyone worships the current format, but honestly, aside from the final minute, is it really that great? Also, people behave like the format has never been meddled with – we’ve had tons of various guises.

      Real shame this has been dropped. We could have at least given it a go.

  18. I have an opinion
    5th February 2021, 4:19

    A Saturday Sprint race might be fun in the following circumstances: 1. Has nothing to do with the championship 2. Does not use championship cars (as these are too precious to waste).

    So, a sprint race with spec-series open wheelers. They could requisition cars from a support event such as F2 or S5000. And let some of the regulars from those spec series compete with the F1 drivers in the sprint race. Maybe even let a superfan join in, like Broadbent or Collantine.

  19. Domenicali’s words, based on this article, not told literally, that they want to have the sprint race instead of the traditional qualifying. (Even if the previos plan intended to do so in the case of the reverse grid sprint race.)

    So I hope that they don’t want to replace the sufficiently exciting current qualifying system.

    As many other fans, I would like to see more action, and sprint races are a way to have some more action, so maybe I would like that. But as others mentioned, they would be happier with only one race, for historical reasons, and stats-wise as well.

    I think that a sprint race might be acceptable for many, but why to have it as qualifying? Why not to have it as a sprint race for championship points, while keeping the traditional qualifying system?

    And, would a sprint race for championship points really provide something extra, something more action packed?
    Sadly, I have doubts about it. Unless the cars are racing better than currently, and unless the field is a bit more even.
    I guess a sprint race would not contain a mandatory pit stop for tyres. Maybe they would use a set of hard tyres for that.
    So if it’s hard to overtake, and the amount of planning, and strategy already involved, I think it would not really stir up the order, and the participants would manage to keep their on track positions most often. Starts and first laps would be a bit more important, and of course those would provide a good amount of excitement, but apart from that it would have the same problems that F1 has nowadays, minus one pit stop.

    So I would be happier if Domenicali would manage to enforce a fair, honest and quite low cost cap, and much more freedom and diversity on the engineering and car design side. And have more powerful authorities which are not lenient towards participants, because they should accept the rules as a participant, instead of asking for more lenient rules about track limits for example. Reducing the power of the engine manufacturers and creating an independent comittee, which has some words on whether to change or keep the set of tech rules would be nice (with a goal of changing the formula a bit more often, as a way of providing engineering challenge and ensure fairness).

    1. … minus one pit stop (but minus one pit stop is less overtaking opportunity, because there are still a good amount of pit strategy related overtakes, so I think sprint race format is for nimble and less aero dependent cars, like the F2 ones, haha at some races at F2 I have seen so quick peeks from following very closely that I told to myself : “yay, he will end up in the pit wall”, but no the car was just nimble, and the driver just could afford to do so). Or for touring cars where some slight contacts are not rare, so the drivers can fight a bit harder at a shorter sprint race.

    2. Plus, as Robbie mentioned, the length of the sprint race is a very important factor, and FIA is not talking about the lenght and many crucial parts of the plan.

      To me a very short sprint race (like at about 5-10 laps) is:
      – as a qualification race: Might stir up the starting order, but at the age of DRS, and financial inequality at a full race length the usual order is likely will not change too much. To me these disadvantages, and dirty air telling that most of the surprise quali results would be easily annulated by stronger teams, once they passed basically it’s over for the weaker entrant.

      – as a race for championship points: It would be too short compared to the GP’s to award a significant amount of points. So even if I would like a sprint race for points instead of a sprint race as a qualification, the sprint race for points should be longer. The length should be enough to cause a few participants some tyre management problems (so I guess, as the cars are carrying less fuel, it would be something around half distance of a GP), or 15-20 laps at most to allow basically every entrant to complete the race without tyre management with a quite light car.
      I’d go for the 15-20 laps version, and award one third or one quarter of the usual championship points as a rough estimation.

  20. If it’s not a reverse grid then what exactly is the sprint race formula?

    Would they have qualifying first to decide the order, or line-up in championship order or just have a lottery?

    These things should be explained when FIA decide to make these announcements

    If they hold quali first then have a sprint race then start Sunday in that order I’d be up for that, but how would that be fair to someone who’s taken out for no fault of their own

  21. I think until they can sort out the ability of cars to follow closely by sorting the dirty air issue you risk just viewing a shorter version of the main race which can often be a bit of a procession.

    If this becomes a feature then surely circuits where passing is nigh on impossible don’t lend themselves to it?

    With genuinely close racing we’d also likely not need DRS…

  22. What they need to do is wait until we see the impact of the 2022 regulations.

    That’s supposed to change things dramatically so let’s give that a chance first before we start throwing ideas up at the wall.

    There is no current need to change the weekend format.

    There is and has been for a while a need to allow more innovation in car and PU design and now budget caps are in place they should relax the regulations rather than tighten them as they’ve done, but the weekend format isn’t a problem.

  23. Every talks about shortening races or having sprint races, why not… have LONGER races? Crazy I KNOW.

    F1 cars are very reliable these days, why not have some special double length races?

    104 laps of Silverstone would be around 3 hours. Introduce a bit of jepoardy into the equation.

    1. Interesting, but I think realistically, there are so many sensors now, the teams would simply dial the cars back.

  24. I can understand no top team wanting a reverse grid sprint format, but what about a randomised start order for the sprint? No built in disadvantage for any team / driver and should still give an exciting mini race to determine qualifying?

  25. Holy crap, this saturday race is the sickest of all the sick proposals that have been advanced.
    And I’m not even talking about the reverse grid thing.

  26. What we learned in the period where we were changing qualifying every two days has been something that has burned our fingers. So we need to avoid that.

    Good to see tha Stefano has this experience fresh enough in his mind to know that they should not play around with it like they did.

    This year, let us just enjoy racing on the tracks that we get. Next year we can all have fun watching the new car format. Look at any “spicing up” if and when we find that it is badly needed. But first look at the cars. And at the tracks they race on please.

  27. A lot of what happened in 2020 would never have been voted in. F1 is very staid but the sprint race idea has legs. It used to be a sprint race, its more endurance now. Everyone wants cars going at full chat but in the ‘grand prix’ it happens very seldom and for not many laps.

    Its got too boring discussing it now with ‘DNA’ arguments. Meanwhile we watch land yachts with hoover engines who dont race, who cant drive too quickly because they’ve under fuelled them and the tyres will fall apart and who are told by data engineers if they will catch someone or not and not to bother defending if the algorithm says they are on a different strategy.

    If this is the ‘DNA’ of F1 that everyone wants to keep then fair enough but its not why I started watching f1

    1. @tonymansell

      Hear! Hear! Late praise is better than no praise…lol.

      Seriously, there’s nothing left to lose at this point.

  28. I still don’t understand why reverse grid is still mentioned to this day.

  29. And again trying to fix what isn’t broken, to get around what is broken.

    Brawn had better done an incredible job on the new technical regs.

  30. If it’s taking this long to come up with a proposal that is more ‘attractive or interesting’ than the current race weekend format, then perhaps that’s an indication that the current format doesn’t need changing at all.

    The only thing I’d consider a positive change would be to remove the Q2 tyre rule as more often than not it just disadvantages the teams and drivers who make up the lower places in the top 10. Otherwise Saturday Qualifying is fair, representative, and pretty much the only time we see drivers pushing these amazing cars to the absolute limit and risking mistakes. It doesn’t need changing.

    1. To add to this; all of the new technical, financial and sporting regulations are either in place or will be in place next season, and are going to bring the teams together and the improve racing. I struggle to understand why a new weekend format keeps getting brought up when the answer to making F1 more attractive is already on its way.

  31. “In order to promote “We race as one” initiative, the starting grid will be arranged in the same way as our rainbow logo. Therefore Ferrari will be always starting first, McLaren second, and so on, with Mercedes and RedBull at the back of the grid.”

    1. Coventry Climax
      6th February 2021, 17:07

      Interesting. And I’m sure it’s the clowns at the FIA that will ‘spice things up’ with a throw of the dice to decide who must use infra-red and who ultra violet as their team color.

  32. If they use a sprint race to replace qualifying then your just taking away the best session of the weekend & only time you get to see drivers pushing flat out for ultimate lap time on low fuel.

    And if your having a sprint race just to add another shorter race to the weekend then really what’s the point as it will serve no real purpose & just devalue the main Grand Prix. If you make it a points race then you risk championships been decided sooner if you have a dominant team & if it gets decided on a Saturday your making the subsequent actual race a bit pointless.

    I can also see drivers been more cautious in a sprint race as teams won’t want to risk damaging the car in a way that could affect the main race. And if drivers hit trouble they are likely to just park the car & shorter races give you no time to really recover, Especially given how difficult overtaking is in F1, Why put extra weak & tear pm the equipment. In which case it would just be a lot of additional cost for no real benefit.

    I also think looking at other categories that the sprint race often tends to be the least interesting as when they can push 100% flat out all race you don’t tend to get that much action in terms of racing (Especially with cars that have issues racing to start with) & without that added element of strategy you get over a longer race you don’t have that bit of added interest either.

    I also just personally dislike shorter races as I think races that are say 45 minutes or less are harder to really get into as they tend to feel like they are over before you have really had time to work out what’s going on. I like the long build you get from longer races where you can really dig into what everyone is doing & try to work out what will happen towards the end.

    I lost interest in touring cars (Like the BTCC) when they moved from longer races to 3 shorter races that barely last 30 minutes, It’s just too short for my liking.

  33. So a Petit Prix on Saturday, and a Grand Prix on Sunday. They could have diddy little Saturday trophies. Maybe turn Saturdays into a modern pentathlon of racing, cycling, frisbee, chess and E-Racing.

  34. Just some random thoughts of my own but taking some things from what has been said so far…

    It’s not that they think the current quali format is broken. They aren’t saying it is. They are just saying perhaps there might be something more exciting. I think I’d be more concerned if they weren’t at least asking these questions of themselves (F1) and of the fans.

    While I am fine with the current format, I also am not that enthralled with it. There is so much predictability and down time for the first half if not two thirds of the hour, that yeah, I do think there must be something more exciting they could at least try. It is exciting for the last few minutes…maybe the last few minutes of Q2 as well, but there’s an awful lot of time when we are just watching drivers sitting in their cars in their garages. A handful of years ago they considered a 4th session added to the current format, and I think even that would make it more exciting as it would mean shorter sessions and less down time with no cars on track and our view being that of drivers sitting in their garages.

    If they tried sprint races, I would like to see short 10 or 12 lap sprints of 5 to 10 cars at a time, but not a 20 car sprint race that would see cars further back with little time or opportunity to move up…mind you, these slower cars on lesser teams rarely get out of Q1 either. At least short sprint races would be exciting and enthralling to watch, so that as cars are eliminated and they pare it down to let’s say 5 cars in a final sprint race for pole, I think that would be very exciting. I don’t see why these sprint race wins would have to be confused with race wins in the archives as someone suggests above. It is still called qualifying even if they were to use sprint races.

    I also agree though that perhaps they should wait for the next gen cars of next year to then see if they even need a more exciting Saturday format, although, even with cars able to follow closely without losing so much performance, we wouldn’t see the benefits of that with cars running on their own as with the current quali format. Perhaps the new gen cars make for an even stronger argument that since cars won’t be so negatively affected in dirty air, a sprint quali race would make for a pretty fair and enthralling bit of action, racing for pole without the unfairness of cars being held back for those shorter number of sprint laps handcuffed to do anything about it in dirty air.

    Bottom line for me…if they don’t change a thing I’m fine with that, but I certainly do think there must be a more exciting way, so I’m fine with an experiment on that too. They have already said, and I believe them fully, that they know they can’t change the format too much nor detract from the DNA of the Championship, including having even just 2 or 3 experiments not disrupt a Championship season, so I have no concerns that they want to try something way out in left field, and even if they did the teams would likely not go along, that is unless this is one of those things FIA can veto and push through anyway.

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