Austria is flawless chance for F1 to experiment: Horner

Austria is flawless chance for F1 to experiment: Horner

There has been a fresh push for an experimental sprint race - where the leader of the championship would start at the back - to replace qualifying and determine Sunday's grid order at tracks which are due to host two races this year to create more unpredictability for the second event.

Mercedes are opposed to reverse-grid qualifying races being introduced in Formula One this season because it could hurt Lewis Hamilton's title chances, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

"[The proposal] seemed to get overwhelming support".

Mercedes, however, have told Sky Sports that their reasons for vetoing the proposals are long-held, and that "we don't believe F1 needs gimmicks to make it attractive".

Horner however said that he is not confident of it going through because of rivals Mercedes' opposition to it.

The finishing positions of that race would then set the grid for Sunday's GP.

"It seems to be a common pattern in Formula 1 that we're digging out old ideas that have been analysed previously and rejected", he stated.

"Then you need to look at the reasons why we were against it and there are three fundamental reasons".

"Number two, I know it from touring vehicle racing, that strategies become a very useful tool when one race result is basically making up the grid for the next one".

"Just imagine one of the drivers not running well on the Sunday race of the first Spielberg weekend, you decide to DNF the auto and that becomes the vehicle that starts on pole for the qualifying race on the second weekend".

"Then, midfield cars will fight heavy for position, as they should, so for the top teams coming from behind it will mean more risks in overtaking and that could mean making this championship a bit of a lottery".

"And after that [third], from a pure efficiency viewpoint, whoever the fastest cars and truck might be, as well as it's not always us, will certainly be punished [compared to the] 2nd as well as 3rd quickest groups, due to the fact that they will just begin ahead".

"I believe that if you are not good enough to win anymore then you have equal opportunity if you are second or third and you have more scope again than the world champions".

"We said this is not the time to experiment with things that interestingly, didn't even have the support of Formula 1's fan community", he said.

F1 teams have a tougher time returning to competition than teams in many other sports because of the dozens of people who usually travel to a race and the regular global journeys involved.

In a later interview with written journalists, Wolff once more insisted it was not the time to experiment with reverse-grid races. "I think the big teams have moved a huge amount to accommodate the changes and react to the pandemic and to react to the changes in the world".

"But I think we'll continue [talks] but it won't be unique to this".

Related Articles