Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff opposed the idea of reverse grid races because of Lewis Hamilton. Horner disclosed that Wolff believes a reverse grid would harm Hamilton’s quest for a seventh World Championship in F1. Allegedly, F1 may experiment with reverse grid races on Saturdays but Mercedes isn’t up for it.
As a concept, it’s pretty simple. In venues where F1 will hold doubleheaders, the first race would be a conventional race weekend. Based on the results of the first race, the sport intends to replace qualifying for the next event with a “sprint race” to determine the starting order for Sunday.
Essentially, the grid would start the sprint race in reverse. However, the bigger teams aren’t completely wrong to remain apprehensive of reverse grid races. F1 races are unpredictable and starting from the back, there’s a greater degree of chaos and uncertainty.
The fundamental idea behind reverse grids is to make F1 exciting again. Just imagine, wouldn’t it be fun to see the likes of Hamilton, Verstappen, and Leclerc start way down the order and climb up?
The battles they would have with the midfield would be something else! sadly, Toto doesn’t see the funny side of it. The Austrian believes reverse sprint races would dent Hamilton’s chances of winning another Championship.
Speaking to Sky F1, Horner said:
“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”