Formula 1 scraps reverse-grid qualifying race plans

Home / Formula 1 scraps reverse-grid qualifying race plans

Formula 1 chief executive Chase Carey says the sport has abandoned plans to experiment with a reverse-grid qualifying race as the concept failed to gain unanimous support from teams.

Formula 1’s chiefs tabled last week the idea of a reverse-grid 30-minute sprint race taking place on Saturday afternoon in place of normal qualifying, with the race’s result defining the formation of Sunday’s grid.

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The format was set to be trialed at the Austrian Grand Prix’s second race weekend as well as at Silverstone’s extra round.

Mercedes and Racing Point reportedly opposed the novel idea, which has therefore been shelved.

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However, Carey remained opened to the sport trialing new concepts in the future although the F1 boss is keen to avoid introducing “gimmicks”.

“We’ve had discussions in the past couple of years about should we look at ways to make some changes that honour the sport, respect what has made the sport great but we think would be changes that would enhance the experience for fans,” explained Carey in a video interview published on the official F1 website.

“We’ve talked about a couple in the coronavirus context of these two [double-header] races. At this point we’ve had one that’s been publicised about a reverse grid that not all teams were comfortable with, and making changes in this short timeframe requires unanimity of support.

“We’re changing almost real time inside the season, but we’ll continue to look at ideas. We want to make sure they’re not gimmicks.

“It’s a great sport with great history, great heroes, great stars, incredibly talented drivers and other individuals so we want to respect everything to a degree but we want to make sure that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t look at ways to make some changes.”

Carey admitted that F1’s truncated season provided the sport with an opportunity for experimentation.

“To some degree, this season being unique gives a little bit more opportunity to try something that I don’t think we would do unless we thought it was a real possibility to add something to the race,” he said.

“I think we always want to be challenging ourselves and [looking at whether] there other things we can do to make the sport better.”

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