In the round-up: Mattia Binotto says Formula 1 should seriously consider reverse grid races following Lewis Hamilton’s charge from the back of the grid in Brazil’s sprint qualifying race.
Reverse grids can be “so much fun” – Binotto
Hamilton’s remarkable ascent through the field in 24 laps demonstrated the value of the idea, Binotto believes. “What happens is so [much] overtaking, so much fun,” he said.
“So I think we should really consider it, obviously for the sprint race format. Having seen what happened, I think it’s even not debatable.”
A recent official F1 survey of over 167,000 fans found 68% were against introducing reverse grid races.
Ocon: Alpine are “two against one” in AlphaTauri fight
Despite Yuki Tsunoda recent improvement in form, Esteban Ocon believes Alpine only has one AlphaTauri driver to worry about as it tries to beat the team to fifth place in the championship.
“Of course, it’s an unknown where we are going to be in Qatar,” said Ocon. “Nobody knows the track exactly, but we want to be in the top 10 again, scoring with both cars, as that’s the only way we are going to be able to keep that championship with the constructors close with AlphaTauri.
“They are going to be faster than us, but we are two against one. So we are going to keep pushing to beat them.”
Brivio hoping to put Moto GP experience to use at Losail
Davide Brivio, racing director of Alpine, is one of few current F1 staff with extensive experience at Losail. As the former team manager of Yamaha and Suzuki’s Moto GP teams, Brivio has visited the track for races multiple times.
“I think it’s going to be interesting to see how the Formula 1 car works there as it’s unknown for all teams and drivers,” said Brivio. “In my experience, I’ve been many times to Qatar as Moto GP raced there since 2004. It’s a nice circuit, which has a little bit of everything. There’s the long straight at almost one kilometre in length and possibly an overtaking opportunity into turn one. After that there are many long sweeping corners, which flow quite nicely.
“We’re going there at a good time of year with the warm weather. I’d imagine it will be warmer than Mexico and Brazil and much more stable. The heat will provide some challenges on cooling but similar to what we see in Bahrain, for example. Racing in the evening will see lower temperatures though and it could be quite windy at the same time.”
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Motor racing links of interest:
Qatar Grand Prix: Shutting off Qatar and Saudi will not help, says Domenicali (source)
"Domenicali: 'Such an important change cannot happen overnight. It is a cultural change that will take time. But the timing will be accelerated by the fact big events are there. And Formula 1 will play an important role in that respect.'"
Plenty of promise and a lot learned: Jak Crawford on his rookie season (Formula 3)
"Crawford: 'As a team, we were expecting much better results than we had, but if I had to choose something, then I would say that it was the speed and the potential that I showed throughout the year, which was promising.'"
Air Force drops sponsorship of number 20 ECR IndyCar (Racer)
"'Ed and I spoke today about that, and I have other sponsors, other funding, that I’ve been developing in case the Air Force pulled out,' Daly said."
Exclusive interview with Matheus Servello, the marshall who gave Hamilton the Brazilian flag (Formula 1 Blog - Portuguese)
"At a certain point in the race, when Hamilton was still in second, Léo came to me and said, 'Oh, let's go and tell Fábio that if Hamilton wins the race we will flag him (Hamilton). He (Fábio) will go crazy, because he was crazy with that flag.'"
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Comment of the day
After Andreas Seidl said McLaren must return to scoring the points they can, over a race weekend, JR Love asks what’s caused their recent dip in form after a very strong start to the 2021 season.
This has definitely been the most disappointing part of the last couple of race weekends. I’ve been so impressed by how McLaren handled most of this season (minus Ricciardo’s protracted difficulties adjusting to his car) up until now.
Suddenly, however, they seem like a different team.
I wonder what’s going on behind closed doors. Are these Audi rumours a sign of business-related goings on that are upsetting the good vibes at McLaren and having a knock-on effect at the track?
Happy birthday to Matthew H and Ionut93!
88 comments on “Hamilton’s sprint charge shows reverse grid races are “not debatable” – Binotto”
18th November 2021, 0:30
IMO, in terms of spectacle there is merit to a reverse grid format. Faster cars vying with one another to see who can carve through the pack the quickest whilst still racing one another provides more entertainment value than watching them drive off into the sunset from the front of the grid. That being said, it’s entirely artificial and goes against the DNA of F1. Given that we’re due for a fairly sizeable (in theory) shake up of the status quo next year I still question why they’ve begun tampering with the format before seeing how that plays out.
Yes under the current regulations we have tended to see a lot of processions (certainly at the front of the grid), so I do understand the temptation to spice things up a bit, however artificially, but why not give the new rules a chance first. Then if they’re still set on tinkering, I’d be somewhat more amenable. Particularly if they went down the route others have suggested, of a ‘(Reverse Grid?) Sprint Championship’, completely separate from the WDC and WCC proper and with a separate pool of components.
18th November 2021, 6:55
I think reverse-grid races could be aviable option for Saturday, if they race for prize money only (no involvement whatsoever with championship points and grid formation); maybe for something else, like development or wind tunnel time. If you take the prize away from directly affectiong championship points, I would at least like to see how that would look like.
18th November 2021, 7:54
I also think it’s something for the Saterday races but for only money I am not sure if that is the rightway.
Tradition is not really the case as in her history a lot of experiments were attempted and i saw a lot of thing what really sucks. Reverse grid is what i have seen (from the 1960s) never attempted so i would like to see a experiment next year.
3 normal sprint races and 3 reverse for example.
18th November 2021, 7:58
It’d never work outside of the championship, though. That’s the only incentive worth fighting for.
The prize money (or whatever) for running a separate sprint series would need to rival the actual championship, or what’s the point of participating?
18th November 2021, 9:52
Entertainment and skill. For the thousands at the track, it would make the weekend even more interesting. And a reverse-grid race gives drivers the possibility to show some attacking and defending skills, it focuses more on racecraft than a normal race. So if it is for entertainment, image, money and fun, I think teams and drivers could/would get into it.
18th November 2021, 11:18
To base reverse grids off last weekend is crazy. Merc have dominated this era, been a swing race to race with Merc and RB this season but with a fresh engine on that track, Merc had well over 0.5 seconds a lap on RB and more like 1.5 on everyone else. From next year the fastest team in unlikely to have such a gap. If the faststest to last is covered my a far smaller margin reverse grids would punish the fastest team who has nowhere near the advantages Merc have had this era. Awful idea.
18th November 2021, 0:37
I wonder how he feels about similar strategy for allocating prize money at the end of the year.
18th November 2021, 1:20
Hmm, that just might have some merit….
18th November 2021, 14:01
Since Ferrari get a special extra allocation maybe he’ll be cool with it.
18th November 2021, 0:46
It will take a very complicated formula to prevent gaming reverse grid sprint races if there is still Friday qualifying. There will be zero incentive to be fastest on Friday if it puts you at the back for the sprint on Saturday which then sets the official grid for the real points on Sunday.
Friday qualifying will turn into seeing who can go slowest without getting penalized.
18th November 2021, 2:17
I believe the plan was to set the grid based on reverse championship standings not a reverse qualifying session
18th November 2021, 7:41
I don’t understand these comments.
If quali directly defines the reverse grid AND the GP grid then there is no incentive for ‘gaming’. It’s always more valuable to start the race further up than starting the Sprint closer to the front.
Keith Campbell (@keithedin)
18th November 2021, 8:38
For the top teams yes, but if they did something like that format then the lower teams might consider throwing qualifying to start from pole in reverse grids. If you’re in a Williams say, and you put in your best effort you might qualify maybe 12th for the race, which would be 8th for sprint qualifying. You’re unlikely to score any points in a 300km race starting from 12th, but you might better fancy your chances in the sprint (assuming points were awarded for the first 8 or 10 drivers). So in that case you might decide you’d rather start the main race from last, but be on pole for the sprint to give you the best chance of hanging on to the top 8-10 places over just a 100km race.
However, I don’t think this is the format they would go with for this reason and others, so I think reverse grid based on championship positions and qualy and race as normal would be the most likely format. That’s less open to gaming as long you don’t have a sprint race near the start of the season.
18th November 2021, 10:08
fair point, but I also believe (did not repeat it here) that all positions in the race should be ‘pointable’.
18th November 2021, 1:19
Hamilton’s charge in Brazil showed that the fastest cars will still end up at the front over a full Grand Prix distance, and if DRS is still around the fun to which Binotto refers is mainly down to how hard somebody defends before the inevitable happens. Yes, it proved that reverse grids are not debatable, but not in the way that Binotto imagines.
As for considering it for the sprint race – well, there’s a phrase about polishing something…
18th November 2021, 7:56
I think that new engine in (a kind) party mode is a exception here but they will get around 5-6 if people doesn’t put up a stronger defense. But i think it’s something for the sprintrace too.
18th November 2021, 8:28
I think the new engine will be a qualifying and race only engine.
Older engines will be used for FP1 and FP2
18th November 2021, 1:36
the flag article is heartwarming. Matheus and Leonardo are Hamilton fans and Fábio is a Max fan, well it was Fábio’s flag that Matheus gave to Lewis.
Leo in case Ham win had the idea of giving Lewis the flag but Fábio a Max fan had just purchased a super neat and expensive Brazilian flag for the group photo. Matheus promised he’d buy another one for Fábio and eventually Lewis came round and appeared to want the flag, Fábio couldn’t let go of it, Matheus says Fábio was trying to hide the flag but eventually Matheus grabbed it and Leo, the chief marshall, which couldn’t muster get close to Ham in fear of passing out, gave the okay as chief for Matheus to go instead.
Matheus himself was totally pumped up and so where all his colleagues.
Matheus goes to explain that nothing was pre-arranged it just happened to mimmick the infamous Senna victory.
18th November 2021, 8:57
Thanks for relating the story since my Portuguese is not at a great level @peartree!
18th November 2021, 1:50
Everytime we have a scenario where a fast car starts & the back & comes through the field you always get the comment that this proves reverse grids would work…. Yet it ignores how 1-2 cars coming from the back is completely different to a completely reversed grid which wouldn’t work in the same way.
It’s artificial in the worst way, It’s unfair, Unsporting & should they reward points towards the championship would create artificial & unfair swings which would skew the various championship fights through the field in again unfair ways.
I’ve said before that reverse grids have always been a red line for me, A gimmick too far which would see me walk away not simply because I strongly dislike & disagree with that particular gimmick but also because it would be the strongest signal they could ever send that the sport is going in completely the opposite direction to what I like. It would be the biggest sign that it’s no longer a sport, That they no longer care about the sporting integrity of the championship & that they care only about superficial action no matter what the cost.
18th November 2021, 7:34
Agree. Reversed grid is more entertainment than a sport. I would loose interest in F1 and stop watching.
18th November 2021, 7:49
I think it’s entertainment (manufactured excitement) AND a sport (competitive performance).
I’m not against it (as long as it’s only used for a side show like a sprint race) and way more acceptable than the gimmicks we have tiday (especially the red flag rules, where you can repair your car, unlap, ‘retyre’, and see racing gaps eliminated).
But that’s just my view.
18th November 2021, 8:04
F1 exists and is produced/marketed primarily for audience consumption.
It is most definitely entertainment by definition.
It can also be described as business and sport (in that order) – but without the entertainment factor, it wouldn’t exist.
18th November 2021, 19:04
Exactly right @stefmeister, had Lewis needed to pass Max and Perez before gobbling up the Ferraris et al it would have been a very different grid and the Red Bulls would not have romped away because they would have had to drive defensively against the chasing AMGs .
Tommy C (@tommy-c)
18th November 2021, 2:03
A hole in one is amazing when it happens. You don’t hear golf seeking to change the rules to make the hole bigger so hole in ones (holes in one..?) happen all the time. That’s basically how I see reverse grids. If we had fast drivers/cars starting at the back all the time, the novelty would soon wane. What makes drives like Lewis’ last race or Kimi and Fernando in Japan 2005 so special is that they’re unexpected and unplanned. You can definitely have too much of a good thing.
18th November 2021, 2:44
No Mr Binotto artificially creating a disadvantage for the fasted cars and drivers is not a competition, it’s a rigged game.
18th November 2021, 8:07
It’s not rigged at all @johnrkh.
The starting order may change, but the finishing order is entirely dependent on the performance of the competitors.
Who knows – the GP results may still end up the same as without reverse grids anyway, but at least the journey to get there would have been more interesting.
And that alone is sufficient justification to do it.
18th November 2021, 11:11
@johnrkh is it not more rigged to give an advantage to the fastest cars and drivers by starting them at the front?
18th November 2021, 18:01
It is rigged. No matter how you slice it it is rigged. Look at wrestling, they wanted entertainment, they rigged it and got an entertaining farce. Turning F1 into WF1F. Binotto needs to get off the Chianti.
19th November 2021, 1:32
Putting the fastest cars at the front is rigged, you say? Yes, I guess it is. You make a good point.
As for wrestling – they rigged every part of their ‘competition’ to make it a scripted drama, not just the bit before it starts.
Once an F1 race starts, the end result is as legitimate as it would without the reverse grid.
18th November 2021, 3:11
Reverse grids have merit. They will create exciting races.
There has to be a reward for finishing in a high position, but they cannot be used to hand out championship points, nor set the grid for the main GP.
Maybe the winner earns extra wind tunnel time for his team, or a new power unit free of grid penalties? There has to be some sort of reward that isn’t WDC points that the drivers will fight for.
18th November 2021, 3:24
If you disregard the aero changes, the current formula has been run since 2014 and we still have half the field being lapped by the front runners. I’m not arguing for a reverse grid race at every GP but I would give it a couple of non-championship races to trial it (e.g. after the GP before the summer break and after the last GP of the season.)
I do suspect, as others have stared, a reverse grid race wouldn’t be as impressive or special as one where 1 or 2 drivers have to start from the back as a result of unforeseen circumstances.
18th November 2021, 3:53
I don’t really understand the logic in having the middle east host the final three races of the season. Fans do not really want to go to those races and it is a crummy time zone for east Asia and the Pacific. If F1 is worried about late season cold weather, there are plenty of other warm weather climates that could host the final races and that are more attractive to the travelling F1 fan base.
18th November 2021, 4:42
But then which geography works best for those regions? Not Europe, not Middle East, not Americas. And unfortunately this year (and previous), the eastern most race we have had is Abu Dhabi.
18th November 2021, 7:53
Melbourne, Japan, Shanghai ;)
18th November 2021, 17:23
As someone who lives in the region and has first hand experience of these races, I can tell you that the fan base here is just as enthusiastic as anywhere else in the world. Talking about the Middle East region like that almost smacks of some sense of superiority. I have been to races in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and I can say with first hand experience that every place has genuine fans who love the sport. But then comments like these spring from a sense of ignorance – almost as if to say that F1 belongs to the western world. It does not. Read the recent article on this site about the influence that the Middle East has on (and indeed how it has contributed to) teams and the sport in general and you’ll probably get better perspective @Adrian Mitchell.
Red Andy (@red-andy)
18th November 2021, 6:13
Ignoring the merits of reverse grids for now, what exactly was exciting about Hamilton’s charge through the field in the Interlagos sprint? Nobody defended against him and every move had an air of inevitability given that his car was so much faster than everyone else’s (and DRS which makes passing trivially easy).
Yes, it was slightly more interesting than either of the previous sprint races, but that’s because the format is terrible.
Aussie Rod (@aussierod)
18th November 2021, 6:57
18th November 2021, 7:14
Yeah, and Binotto fails to mention that 1) they cannot just turn up the engines for all sprint races without using at least as many engines for the season as Mercedes are doing now – i.e. optimising it for about 4 races, meaning 6 engines/ year, or double the current plan. And 2. if EVERYONE does it we are back to where they are all running at far more equal speeds and we can look back how driving back through the field worked for Mercedes earlier in the year.
Off course, if there really was something at stake for a group of top drivers/teams fighting through to the front, people would defend. No way would Norris or even say Leclerc have given up so easily in the sprint if their actual grid spot was at stake (now they knew Hamilton would get that engine penalty).
It is just so frustrating how people like Binotto or Brawn seem to take up every angle as encouragement/justification for the step they have already taken.
I agree with you that apart from Hamilton coming through, the only interesting fight was that between Norris and Leclerc during that race @red-andy, no solid endorsement of this format at all.
18th November 2021, 7:32
I totally agree with you!
Luckily, Binotto seems to be fighting alone for this cause..
18th November 2021, 7:59
@red-andy True and even with that massively faster car Hamilton could only attack Verstappen when Verstappen blundered by falling for a dummy. Otherwise he would not have overtaken him at all.
18th November 2021, 8:11
That was during the race, @f1osaurus – not the sprint.
And Hamilton was always going to overtake Verstappen once he’d caught up. Massive pace difference between the two of them.
10.5 seconds between them at the finish, and Hamilton was not pushing it…..
18th November 2021, 8:33
Perez set the fastest lap of the race he was faster than Hamilton what is your explanation for that.
18th November 2021, 8:51
That’s simple. The much softer and newer tires.
Ham on hard
Per on soft.
18th November 2021, 12:05
As noted by erikje, Perez only did two laps on his (soft) tyres with the explicit intention of setting that fastest lap time.
Never mind the fact that it came at the cost of 25 seconds of track time…
18th November 2021, 15:55
So it doesn’t occur to you that Verstappen may have lost tyre life or he decided not to stress his engines?
18th November 2021, 18:21
S, most of that performance difference was not because Hamilton was that much faster – it was because Verstappen slowed down after Hamilton overtook him.
If you look at his lap times before Hamilton passed him, Verstappen’s lap times were around the 1m12.5s mark, plus or minus a few tenths each way – however, after Hamilton passed him, Verstappen slowed down by about 0.8s and was setting times around the 1m13.3s mark, progressively slowing down until he was setting times around 1m14.5s in the final couple of laps.
For comparison, you can look at Perez’s lap times during that same stint prior to his pit stop in the final couple of laps, and he was generally at least 0.5s a lap faster than Verstappen, resulting in him gaining 5 seconds on Verstappen over those same laps.
Now, you cannot claim that Perez had a massive tyre life advantage (his tyres were just two laps younger), and he’s driving the same car as Verstappen, so you can’t claim that he had a car advantage. The comparison with Perez’s lap times indicates that the gap was that large because Verstappen chose to slow down, not because Hamilton had a massive car advantage.
18th November 2021, 14:45
I don’t get this take. First of all, it was definitely very exciting for me and many others seeing him make that kind of rapid progress – each move was not guaranteed to succeed even though you claim they were all inevitable. Second, if he had failed to make any ground and finished the sprint in 18th or 19th, you’d probably be one of those saying he’s a “washed up, talentless has-been” (as I saw some claim at some races this year). Now that he did curve up the field, it’s just the car. SMH.
(This isn’t an endorsement of reverse grids)
18th November 2021, 6:29
Mayne build tracks (modify existing) that encourages more passes instead of the trains we are soo used to seeing. I would ratber see that than to have reverse grids. Because even with a reverse grid it will be very much track dependant. And so far only this last sprint was a bit exciting the rest were utter nonsense and boring. Admit a poor decision was made to have sprint races and move on. Focus on another area instead.
Red Andy (@red-andy)
18th November 2021, 11:49
I get the idea, but we’ve been attempting to build tracks to suit F1 cars and encourage overtaking for over two decades now, and in general those venues have been soulless car parks that have not provided more memorable or entertaining races than the ‘classic’ tracks. Perhaps the sport needs to design cars that suit the circuits, rather than the other way around.
Aussie Rod (@aussierod)
18th November 2021, 6:56
For all the Hamilton v Verstappen vitriol on these forums this year it’s nice to see the one topic come back that unites us all. Reverse grid sprint races.
18th November 2021, 8:34
Nothing like Reverse grid to unite, wine vs beer drinkers
18th November 2021, 9:21
Hahaha good 1!!
18th November 2021, 6:58
Reversed grid is always a bad idea and shows that the organiser is more into show/money than a fan of the sport. And it especially wont work if one guy has a rocket ship in which Binotto himself would win.
18th November 2021, 7:13
Reversed grid might be the moment Mercedes considers leaving F1 as the works team.
18th November 2021, 7:57
Mercedes already 2/3 left.
Not that much more involved as a constructor than Alfa Romeo.
18th November 2021, 7:41
Binotto and Brawn see the benefits that reverse grid races can bring – and I’m totally with them on that.
F1 is supposed to be the greatest challenge for team and driver, and this assists with that concept. Starting every race from the front with the fastest car is not particularly challenging.
As they (have and will) eternally insist on not actually fixing what’s wrong with F1, we might as well do something different now.
F1’s ‘purity’ is so minimal – most of what remains is simply holding it back. Given the last 20 years of dominant periods, I won’t be missing what many call ‘F1’s DNA’ – not the modern interpretation of it, anyway.
18th November 2021, 8:01
And if reverse grid is a step too far, then go for random grid (20 races, 20 grid spots) to show how good they are in overtaking.
Many sports use toss of the coin to decide starting positions, rather than a penalty shoot out at the start.
18th November 2021, 8:15
Indeed. I can’t recall anyone complaining about the coin toss being unfair or unsporting.
Just part of the game.
18th November 2021, 8:21
And if the fastest decided to ensure their time in Q1 was deleted for exceeding track limits?
I can just see the first five drivers eliminated are the Mercedes and RBR drivers plus one other.
18th November 2021, 12:08
Depends entirely on how reverse grid formation is implemented, @w-k.
Merely flipping standard qualifying order would be the biggest dunce move possible.
18th November 2021, 8:36
It won’t be the first time people see what isn’t really there, it has been happening for ages.
18th November 2021, 12:10
Or deny what really is there just because they don’t like it….
18th November 2021, 21:20
it definitely will be a challenge….for the back and mid fielders to get out of the way so they don’t efup a championship challenger’s race, and for engine customers or sister team to do so.
18th November 2021, 7:53
I long entertain the idea of reverse grids, to motivate front running team in developing car for driving in the pack and overtaking well.
What would be even better than Hamilton in the back? Verstappen alomgside him.
Imagine entertainment value in that.
Almost always when top drivers start from behind, we see races that get better ratings. Why is that?
18th November 2021, 21:26
Even better, drop hay bails at random on the track, now that would be entertaining… but wait….
18th November 2021, 8:09
I would argue it shows the case against reverse grid racing rather then for. There seems to be a heavy sense of delusion in F1 at the moment and I doubt they’ve looked at similar examples of their ideas to see why it doesn’t work or why it works in other situations but not F1.
They always hide behind the argument of ‘bringing in new fans’ but you don’t do that by arbitrarily changing things without thought. A solid produce will bring fans in naturally who are more likely to stay long term while gimmicks might bring some curious fans in but they won’t be inclined to stay, while your existing fans feel alienated and leave, especially when they feel like they’re being actively ignored.
18th November 2021, 8:15
Two points about reverse grid. It worked in Sao Paulo because there was only one front runner sent to the back. Would that still apply if the driver on the grid in front of you is only slightly slower?
And my second point is “Why would a driver attempt to be fastest in Qualifying if the grid is reversed for the “Sprint” which then sets the positions for the Main Race on Sunday.”
If it was me I would make my only run in Q1 right at the end and ensure I exceeded track limits at all the corners that were being monitored so that my time would be deleted.
18th November 2021, 8:20
No series would ever run a qualifying-reverse grid race system that way, for the exact reason you point out.
18th November 2021, 8:23
Are you absolutely certain that the present day F1 bosses can work that out?
18th November 2021, 12:13
I’d say it’s a fair bet – given that ever since Brawn first mentioned reverse grids, it was based on the idea of setting the grid using reverse championship order – not another qualifying session.
Unless you think teams would start fiddling with their race positions in order to receive fewer championship points?
18th November 2021, 19:21
@S, If the reverse grid is set by championship points, then every driver would aim for only 1 deleted lap, just as @w-k points out, why wear out PUs and tyres for no advantage?
18th November 2021, 21:17
I am CONFUSED.
Setting the grid for the Sprint, which decides the grid for Sunday, by reversed championship position, totally defeats me.
It makes Qualifying null and void.
And it can be argued that, at present, Qualifying is probably only one of two ‘must watch’ sections of the w/end, the opening lap on Sunday being the second.
19th November 2021, 2:20
@hohum I don’t understand… If the qualifying reverse grid sprint is set by championship points, then there would be no need for another qualifying session.
@w-k Indeed, normal qualifying would be useless. That’s exactly why they’ve been so persistent in calling the sprint a qualifying session and not a race.
They could use an aggregate system (average of qualifying order & reverse sprint order) but no doubt the arguments would persist that that isn’t acceptable for any number of reasons – mostly by people who simply don’t like it, rather than any meaningful reason why it doesn’t work.
I agree, current qualifying is often the best part of the weekend – but that primarily shows that the races themselves are dull and lacking in interest points.
F1 has proven for decades that putting the fastest cars at the front often allows them to drive away uncontested. Mixing the grid order helps to liven them up, while maintaining that the results are entirely down to the performance of the competitors.
Honestly, I think a big part of the resistance to reverse grids is that people are rejecting the idea without even understanding it properly.
People are too quick to jump to conclusions, based on emotion rather than knowledge.
18th November 2021, 8:34
Reverse grids just for the sprint will only induce racing among the top 5 starters in the sprint.
The rest won’t even be bothered to take the risk of damaging their cars if the grid for the race is set thru true qualifying standings.
If Hamilton with such pace and car could only end up 5th in brazil, the people from 5th down will just keep cruising in their positions as they have zero incentive to do anything!
To make this work, all 20 positions in the sprint have to have some sort of incentive. Maybe wind tunnel yime or something.
18th November 2021, 8:38
On the contrary, what can work is if the final result of the sprint set up the grid for Sunday’s race.
But that will make qualifying obselete.
So maybe F1 can try just sprint (with reverse grid) and race without a qualifying session at some grand prix in the next year.
That would be very very exciting indeed.
To solve who gets pole (for the records), they can use the fastest time in the practice sessions.
18th November 2021, 8:38
Reverse grid: yes it would be fun. Just like playing football with two footballs. I would definitely watch these. However they are both different categories of their original sports and should definitely not be part of the current competition formats.
(Now I’m off to some football forums to suggest the idea of the two footballs – I am sure the football fans will love it!)
18th November 2021, 15:27
Hehehehe – this has given me a good chuckle!
18th November 2021, 8:39
Still no for the reverse grid.
Two against one indeed, which is why I reckon Alpine will keep P5 until the end.
Mclaren’s performance dip is weird, & COTD’s suggestion is a possibility.
18th November 2021, 8:58
Absolutely not, Mattia. Absolutely not. Never in history.
18th November 2021, 10:41
I would think there’s a safety concern with reverse grids.
It’s fine having one or two fast cars at the back but with reverse grids, everyone is launching super fast cars into a first corner where there is 4 or 5 abreast rolling road blocks of much slower cars in front of them. The amount of first and second corner crashes would certainly go up.
Not to mention the rookies are now at the front getting swarmed… Might be entertaining, not sure it’s terribly safe.
18th November 2021, 11:25
I would love them to trial reverse grid just once so Binotto and co can comment on the the wrecks all over the place after the first corner, if mayhem not already happened on the starting grid.
18th November 2021, 12:30
Considering their open bias over sprint qualifying I wouldn’t even let them trial it.
18th November 2021, 11:52
Extenuating circumstances Stefano.
Lewis’s ‘charge‘ through the grid came about as a result of regulatory issues.
18th November 2021, 13:32
It really comes down to the circuit and if it allows easy over takes, otherwise i can see the slower cars organising themselves to strategically block the faster cars..
Picture the scene slower cars driving side by side in an attempt to block overtaking by the faster cars.
That’s to say the main race wouldn’t eventually produce over takes by the faster cars, but reverse grid would distort qualifying for the main race.
ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh)
18th November 2021, 14:22
Reverse girds would be another spike in the coffin.
F1 frog (@f1frog)
18th November 2021, 18:53
No thank you to reversed grids. Remember the Hungarian GP, when Esteban Ocon was being chased down by Lewis Hamilton for the lead, exactly as a reversed grid would be? That was the best Grand Prix of the season, and it felt great when Ocon won. Now imagine that had happened because Ocon had been artificially put on pole position because of a poor championship position, and Hamilton was at the middle or the back. And now imagine that a similar situation had happened multiple times already in the season. Now does Ocon’s win look good? No, it looks random and takes away the meaning of a Grand Prix victory. These artificial gimmicks to spice up entertainment are fine in other motorsport series like the BTCC, but Formula 1 is the ‘pinnacle of motorsport,’ and should as far as possible be the best driver/team/car combination wins every time (barring bad luck of course, which is impossible to eliminate). Reversed grids would completely evaporate that, and wouldn’t even improve the entertainment of the sport over a whole season, for the aforementioned reason.
19th November 2021, 2:42
It’s funny, @f1frog, that all the justifications you use against reverse grids are the ones that I find appealing.
Yep, a slower car in the lead needs to be driven well to defend their position. That earns their result as much as driving all the way through the pack with a faster car does.
Is ‘random’ a bad thing in sport? Absolutely not. ‘Random’ and ‘unexpected’ are the exact elements that raise enjoyment levels, engagement and race scores to 10. It’s how competitors deal with those challenges that is important.
Is it bad to have different winners? Definitely no. More winners is greatly better for F1. Vital, even.
F1 is no ‘better’ than BTCC or any other racing series. It’s really just another series with it’s own unique set of rules – not inherently better or worse, and the challenge in winning in BTCC (or any other racing series) is just as strong as in F1.
The bottom line with reverse grids racing is that it naturally works out over a season. If a backmarker ‘randomly’ wins one race, then they’ll just have more points next time and start down the back.
Over a complete championship season, the champion will still be the one with the most points – and that will almost certainly still be the same with or without reverse grids.
Reverse grids are about making the on-track product more engaging.
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