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Kvyat says reverse grid races would be a "band aid"

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Kvyat says reverse grid races would be a "band aid"
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Co-author: Scott Mitchell
Sep 20, 2019, 12:56 PM

Reverse grid qualifying races in Formula 1 have been called a "band aid" for the sport's real problems by Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat.

F1 teams and the sport's owners Liberty Media are discussing the idea of trialling a number of reverse grid races on Saturdays in 2020 to see if it is something the team should adopt permanently for the future.

But while there appears to be growing consensus that the format change could be worth a try, Kvyat suggests that moves to try to spice up the action fail to address the real issues that are affecting the sport.

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Asked by Motorsport.com for his views on the potential reverse grid trials, Kvyat said: "I think it is a band aid, it is not a fix to the real problem.

"We should have a closer more competitive field together. Then we don't need to create these sprint races or whatever.

"It [reverse grids] sounds a bit unnatural to me. Sounds a bit like not a fix for a real problem, just a band aid, like I said. That's my first reaction.

"But then I think the same as with halo. It will go in, people will complain a bit, and then we'll get on with it. But it sounds like it is going a bit away from tradition, the classic [history] of this sport."

Kvyat's view that F1 should be focusing more on why the grid is split into two divisions is something that McLaren's Carlos Sainz agrees with too.

"I think we need to address two main things, which is we need all the teams to be close together in times," explained the McLaren driver.

"That will make the show better 100%. The show in the midfield is actually a lot of fun and we have cars that are impossible to overtake and yet the racing is still good fun.

"And then there is the overtaking issue that we have. If you address the equality between the cars, [get them] a lot closer, then the performance and the following of the cars, maybe Formula 1 doesn't need reversed grids because the races could be exciting as they are."

Kvyat added that F1 should set it sights on a rulebook which helps deliver races that are decided on the final lap, like in MotoGP.

"The top three teams all perform well on different kind of tracks: one car is fast on straights, the other one in corners and so on, and so on," he said.

"It looks like a very interesting mix, and even just because of that mix I don't think we really need the reverse grid.

"But if we can add five or six teams to it, or at least Renault, McLaren, and you have five teams at the same level then it is more interesting. Then we're talking about a MotoGP kind of competitive field.

"And that will really be great, because how many last lap battles have we had in MotoGP? It is cool, no? Last lap, last corner. So... that is what I think the aim should be from F1 to fix."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble