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Horner: F1 at a 'perfect time' to trial new race format

  • Published on 01 Jun 2020 17:49
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Formula 1 is at the “perfect time” to trial reverse grid races.

The 2020 F1 season is set to get underway in Austria next month, after the coronavirus pandemic saw the opening ten races o the original schedule called off.

Two consecutive events are expected to be held at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, followed by one race in Hungary before another two races at one circuit, with Silverstone in the UK the proposed venue.

Horner revealed that during a meeting between the teams and the FIA last week, it was proposed that one of the weekends should hold a reverse grid based on championship position.


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The Briton argues that it would add another factor of unpredictability, rather than getting two similar races in a row at the same track. 

“I think we've got a unique situation this year, and having two races at the same venue, it would seem the perfect time to try something different at that second event,” Horner told Sky F1.

"Otherwise, with stable weather conditions, we're likely to have the same output in race two as we have in race one.

“There was a discussion last week where the FIA and Liberty put on the table trying something different for that second race weekend, where there would be perhaps a race on Saturday, a reverse grid on Sunday.

“My view was let's do it at all the races that there are two races, so Austria, Silverstone, maybe an Asian circuit further down the line.”

Horner added that the idea received overwhelming support - except from Mercedes, who is targeting a seventh consecutive double world championship.

Horner said: “It seemed to get overwhelming support, the only person that wasn't particularly supportive of it was Toto because he thought it would interfere with Lewis' seventh world championship campaign, and it would be too much of a variable.

“But for the sport, if it's the same for everybody, now would be the perfect time to try it. Otherwise there will never be a good time and we'll never know.”

Replies (8)

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  • f1dave

    Posts: 756

    Here's a novel idea . . . .just race !

    If F1 needs gimmicks to keep fans interested maybe it's time to just shut it down
    and let some other real racing series take over (not electric cars).

    • + 0
    • Jun 1 2020 - 18:34
    • "Here's a novel idea . . . .just race !"

      they are racing... more than usual. so what's the problem

      • + 1
      • Jun 1 2020 - 20:35
    • More racing = Good!

      Besides, the time differences between the top 3 and the rest are big enough that we would in all likelihood end up with pretty much the same winners as the last 4 years. However, we would get some lively racing, we'd see lots of overtaking, we'd see more midfield teams on the podium, and more importantly, we'd see the best drivers on the grid really putting their skills to test. I love the idea. Obviously, the points awarded in a sprint race would be significantly less than the feature race, but I would still watch eagerly.

      • + 0
      • Jun 2 2020 - 01:57
  • Snooky

    Posts: 68

    Can’t see Merc risking it, it’s been clear their car struggles with following other cars for years, they don’t want to get stuck behind other Competitive cars that’ll ruin their chances of winning

    • + 0
    • Jun 1 2020 - 20:49
  • You could, but would it benefit anyone, really?

    I genuinly think there is little wrong with the current format. Remove an FP outing or so, fine, but the rest? There's only so much you can do to "spice up the show", and "don't fix what isn't broken" really apply here.

    That said: there could of course be stuff you could make, sorta challenges like "best tyre tamer", or "fuel fanatic" or some other stuff to test the drivers' skills in various aspects. Kinda make them an event of its own.

    • + 0
    • Jun 1 2020 - 22:02
    • Snooky

      Posts: 68

      Thinking removing FP2 would be good, it’s never at a time when the race occurs so not useful to the weekend. The hole reason the extra session was brought in was to increase test time for components After removing in season testing. Remove the session and less practice at the track MAY offer more mixed results (more interesting races have come when less practices have happened), let the teams test the same amount of time at a track of their choice when they want to. A team could test half at the start of the year to hit the ground running then spread through the rest of the year or test through in stages if they want and progress slower through the season but for longer. Bit of variety wouldn’t go amis!

      • + 0
      • Jun 1 2020 - 22:59
    • I love the idea of removing practice sessions. Not just FP2 - but just give them 1 practice session of 1 hour. Practice sessions give the tope teams too much time to "dial-in" their car to a track with their superior budgets. Substantially reduce the practice time would help spice up the grid a little as a top team could potentially get it slightly wrong and allow midfield teams to be competitive.

      It would also save substantial costs.

      I do also love the idea of the reverse grid. Not based on championship standing, but reverse grid based on the results of the first race. It then becomes a tactical challenge to decide how to optimise an event - where perhaps coming in 4th or 5th may actually be the best position for race 1 as it gives you a slight advantage for race 2 over someone who finished on the podium.

      If there was concern about how it affected the championship, there are a couple of options. Offer it as a no points round to see how it works which would allow for some fine-tuning for use the following season. The other option is only offer half points for that race.

      Lastly, instead of reverse grid - why not offer a weight disadvantage for the second race based on the results of the first. Top 5 get 10 kilograms to the car, 6 through 10 get 5kg, 11 through 15 get 1.5kg.

      Something has to be done - 2 races at the same venue at the same time of year will be a little boring unless there is something to spice it up.

      • + 0
      • Jun 2 2020 - 02:57
  • Freguz

    Posts: 160

    Don’t start experementing now, just give us back the F1 as it it was, albeit without a crowd, but that is OK right now. Otherwise try to keep things intact.

    • + 1
    • Jun 2 2020 - 10:29

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