Following a meeting organised between Liberty Media and the FIA, it was proposed to introduce a new kind of system where the starting order for the Formula 1 grid will be reversed.
The aim of implementing such a system is to abolish Saturday qualifying in order to organise a sprint race instead, where the starting positions would be defined by reversing the general classification of the World Drivers’ Championship.
This means that potentially, during this race, a Williams could start from the front row and conversely, we could see Lewis Hamilton or Charles Leclerc start from the back of the grid.
The result of this race will then determine the starting order for the Grand Prix the following Sunday.
This idea had already been submitted a few months ago, but was abandoned due to the refusal of some big teams like Mercedes.
This time, the context is different because the championship has been cut by several races and Liberty Media needs something new in order to restore interest in it.
According to the regulations, this new system can only be implemented with the unanimous approval of all Formula One teams.
In this respect, a vote will be held next week to adopt and implement it from “race 2” of the Austrian Grand Prix on an experimental basis.
Horner says Wolff doesn’t wish to try reverse grids
“I think we’ve got a unique situation this year, and having two races at the same venue would seem the perfect time to try something different,” Horner told the Sky Sports F1 Show.
“Otherwise, with stable weather conditions, we’re likely to have the same outcome 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 a different qualifying with perhaps a race on Saturday, reverse grid on Sunday, and my view was, why do it at one race, let’s do it at all the races where there are two races – so potentially Austria, Silverstone, maybe at an Asian circuit further down the line.
“That seemed to get overwhelming support. The only person who wasn’t particularly supportive of it was Toto [Wolff], because he thought it would interfere with Lewis’s seventh world championship campaign. It would be too much of a variable.”
“I think, 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.
“Having races being at the same venue for two consecutive weekends would seem a logical and timely place to introduce something. If it doesn’t work then at least we’ve tried it.
“But I think at least the prospect of drivers having to race through the field on a Sunday for the feature race, having to start from the back of the grid based on championship position or the pre-race on the Saturday, I think would be something really entertaining for the fans, something positive for Formula 1 and something we shouldn’t be afraid of trying.” concludes Horner.