Horner wants more points for Sprint Qualifying, reverse grids and point for pole

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes F1’s new Sprint Qualifying races could bring “something quite interesting” to race weekends and wants the championship to take the idea further.

Following confirmation last week that Sprint Qualifying will be introduced at three rounds in this year’s championship, Horner said that he believes the new format is worth experimenting with.

“I’m happy to support the promoters to give it a go, because I think if we don’t try something different, how do you know if it’s any better or not?,” Horner told Sky.

“Part of me thinks a grand prix has a classic qualifying and a race element to it, but then this could bring something extra. And I think if it’s not on every single race, then it could be something quite interesting.”

Each Sprint Qualifying race, which will be held on Saturdays at the British, Italian and one other grand prix, will award three points to the winner. Horner suggested the idea could be taken further, by awarding more points for Sprint Qualifying, incorporating reverse grids and introducing a bonus point for pole position.

He drew parallels with the point introduced for the fastest race lap on 2019, which he believes had a positive impact on the sport. “We campaigned very heavily for that and I think that’s a positive,” Horner explained.

“I’d even go for a point for pole position, because that has a value. I think with Sprint Qualifying, we’ve got to give it a go and that’s why we’ve agreed to go with it. Maybe more can be done with it in the future. Because the points are a critical element as well, maybe put more emphasis on the points on that race and maybe then then reverse that grid.”

Start, Silverstone, 2020
Poll: Will F1’s new Sprint Qualifying races enhance the championship?
Horner’s enthusiasm has been echoed by a number of drivers, including George Russell, who said he was “excited” by the new Sprint Qualifying concept.

“I think it’s exciting, to be honest,” said Russell.

“I think the change would just bring a bit more excitement. It brings three days of proper action, as obviously not a lot of people are interested in practice on a Friday, so qualifying on a Friday, Sprint Qualifying on a Saturday before the main event on Sunday, I think it’s an interesting concept.

“I think we’ve got to give it a chance and see how we get on. But I think I’m excited for it. And if it brings action, if it brings excitement, then that’s in the best interest for everybody.”

Advert | Become a Supporter & go ad-free

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

Browse all 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

28 comments on “Horner wants more points for Sprint Qualifying, reverse grids and point for pole”

  1. The one with the fastest car wants more points for qualifying. Interesting.

    1. I am alright with 1 point being awarded for the pole position, but that is just it. Anything else will be too artificial.

    2. That’s because most of the poles this year are a Mercedes then…

      1. erikje, you are basing that on just three qualifying sessions though, and that’s including events where the sessions saw variable weather conditions that had a fairly significant impact on car performance.

      2. Uh no. That’s because I believe the driver who works hard to get pole position in qualifying should be rewarded. It’s no surprise that almost all the teams focus on race performance because that is where the points are awarded. Of course, tracks where overtaking is difficult could be another story. I am fine either way, anything else like giving points for 2nd, 3rd etc in qualifying, and it is probably a bit too much.

    3. I couldn’t see Toto’s quote in article so can’t comment on that – maybe it was removed? Anyway, the 2nd fastest team have just suggested reverse grids so it looks like they’re up for a challenge.

  2. There is nothing wrong with qualifying Christian you tit …. leave it alone.
    Tyres, DRS and dirty air are all a problem.

    Fix what is broken before breaking what is working!

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      2nd May 2021, 12:34

      Well actually there is one thing wrong with the current qualifying system. Take yesterday’s for example. Sebastian Vettel’s time for qualifying in tenth is slower than the time for eleventh and twelfth.

      A far greater issue comes when it rains in Q2. In that instance the runners in Q3 are quicker than those in Q2

    2. The only issue that needs solving is dirty air. If that was solved, DRS wouldn’t be needed and would be scrapped, and the tyres might be improved too, as their current state is a choice made by F1 to improve racing. There is no need to change the weekend format in any way; it’s perfect as it is. The single thing that F1 needs to solve is dirty air.

      1. James Coulee
        2nd May 2021, 22:51

        The only way to fix dirty air is for top teams to have a motivation to design cars that are efficient in dirty air (as opposed to privileging performance in clean air for qualifying or running at the front).

        A reverse grid sprint race would be such a motivation.

        Maintaining current formats will inevitable keep the problem: the rules can be as designed as we want to solve the dirty air problem, but the teams’ engineers will always push the development of the cars in the opposite direction, with designs that favor performance in clean air and that create as much dirty air behind as possible.

  3. Welcome to the Twilight Zone…

  4. Will get shot down here, but I like the idea of a reverse grid for the sprint race—but reverse championship order.

    That said, I enjoy the current qualifying format so don’t know how such a thing would logically fit in anywhere.

  5. Four cars within five 10th of a second yesterday and that is not exiting for Horner? Reverse Grid??? What is wrong with him?

    1. Probably more faith in Max working himself up the order in a reverse grid race over Hamilton. Don’t think he’s necessarily right.. But it seems like he has more confidence in Red bull beng able to overtake than Mercedes

      1. Or he just wanted to try some ideas to make it even more interesting for the viewer.

  6. Yes, there should be reversed grids. We’ve had one team dominating the sport for 7 seasons in a row, being almost untouchable. Reversed grids would had given Ferrari and Red Bull a chance. Even though the fastest car would still have the advantage.

    1. That change will take a generation, if F1 lasts that long.

  7. He drew parallels with the point introduced for the fastest race lap on 2019, which he believes had a positive impact on the sport.

    I still disagree with that because I still maintain the view that setting the fastest lap doesn’t warrant a point given how irrelevant it is & how you can get fastest lap simply by bolting on a new set of softs with 2-3 laps to go.

    1. I’ve thought before with this, they should exclude the last 10 laps from the fastest lap point. Maybe even more.

      Of course, a better idea is to just remove it altogether but if that’s not going to happen, at least try to improve it.

  8. I agree for me sprint race points, but not for pole.

  9. How about points for fastest lap in practice? Surely will ‘add an interesting element’.

    Or extra points to whoever fans votes ‘driver of the day’, or even personality of the year in order to involve the younger generation on social media?

    Will surely enrich Formula 1 no end?

  10. I don’t see how a point for pole really changes anything. Everyone wants pole and tries their very hardest to get it, so it’s not like it brings anything new into play in the same way pole for fastest lap can do, where a midfield driver can strap on fresh tyres if he has the window and can just go for it. All it does is simply help the fastest guy run away with the championship even faster and reduces the chances of a close championship.

  11. The traditional F1 time trial has gotten harder to sell to the new generation of this century.
    F1 is just too expensive an organisation to stick with its classic processional format.

    1. I don’t think the format itself is a difficult sell – it’s more that it is just becoming less attractive as the field performance spread has already determined much of the result before it even starts.
      It’s the same reason that the sprint races are generally being taken as a useless change.

  12. How about a point for fastest time in each practice session and for fastest pit stop.

    I hope F1 sticks to the emphasis on winning races for championship standing. I’d rather go back to points for only 1-6 than further water down points value.

  13. And the slippery slope to Fan Boost gains momentum…

  14. I think these comments are idiotic and Horner really should know better. The longer he’s been in the sport the more rubbish he seems to come out with.

    I am happy to give sprint qualifying a chance and for the point. Nothing more.

    A point for pole position will just reinforce the position of the fastest teams/cars.

  15. I think these comments are ridiculous and Horner really should know better. The longer he’s in the sport the less sense and understanding he seems to show.

    I am happy to give sprint qualifying a chance and the points being awarded for that. Nothing more.

    A point for pole position will just reinforce the position of the fastest teams/cars.

Comments are closed.