F1 set to abandon reverse grid idea for 2020

Formula 1 looks set to abandon attempts to trial different race weekend formats in 2020, in the wake of teams failing to get behind the idea for reverse grids earlier this week.

F1 set to abandon reverse grid idea for 2020

The sport's owner Liberty Media has been evaluating ways to spice up the show, and was hoping to test out three reverse grid qualifying races next year to see what impact they had on the spectacle.

The idea was that at three grands prix – France, Belgium and Russia – F1's normal qualifying session would be replaced with a short race whose grid was put together in reverse championship order.

The end result of this race, which would be roughly 100km in length, would decide the starting order for the main event on Sunday.

The matter was discussed at this week's latest F1 rules meeting in Paris between teams, the FIA and F1, but it failed to get the unanimous support that was needed for a change of regulation to happen.

Read Also:

It is understood some front-running teams were against the plan because they believed that it would be too difficult for them to make up enough ground if they started at the back.

Although the rejection of the idea this week is not officially the end of the road for reverse grids - because it could still be resurrected as late as next season if all teams approve - it is understood that F1 sees little gain in wasting time pursuing it further now that top teams are entrenched against it.

There have been some suggestions that the bigger outfits would be open to a compromise of a more normal qualifying race on Saturdays – with grid position for that perhaps set by Friday practice times – but there is believed to be little enthusiasm for this from the sport's chiefs.

Such a qualifying race would not open up the potential for as mixed up a Sunday grid as a reverse grid qualifier, which was one of the key drivers for such a change.

Furthermore, it is widely accepted that the current qualifying format is popular with fans, so there is little benefit to be had from trialling a different format on Saturday to achieve an almost identical result.

Last month, F1 managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn was clear that the sport needed to be open to experiments if it was to move with the times and maintain its popularity against growing competition in the entertainment sphere.

"I understand that the purists might be concerned, but we should not be afraid to conduct an experiment otherwise we cannot progress," he said.

"We don't want change for the sake of change; we want to improve our sport, because, rather like the development of the cars, if you stand still you risk slipping backwards."

It had been hoped that the experiments for next year would deliver an answer about whether reverse grid races could become more regular longer term.

But without a definitive answer on that, the sport is unlikely to risk imposing them from 2021 even though it would only take majority support to do so at this point.

shares
comments
Why F1 teams fear 2021 rules will lead to 'GP1 racing'

Previous article

Why F1 teams fear 2021 rules will lead to 'GP1 racing'

Next article

Promoted: How working from home boosted motorsport TV coverage

Promoted: How working from home boosted motorsport TV coverage
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Prime

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021 Prime

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021