Why Are Mercedes Opposed To The Idea Of Reverse Grids?

2020 Barcelona Pre-Season Test 1, Day 3

Excitement and interest! These are always in plenty in the tumultuous world of Formula 1. At the same time, these are values highly sought at a time where the sport is enthusiastically introducing new rules in a bid to make the contest wide open than it is; so that the other drivers and teams can stake a claim in a contest which, otherwise, usually belongs to the cars stacked at the front-end of the grid.

How can you make Formula 1 more ‘accessible’ and involving from the others’ perspective is the whole mantra of introducing concepts like reverse grids in qualifying.

Yet, to many, especially the current frontrunners in the fastest form of single-seater racing, this is nothing more than a ‘gimmick’ not really something that can further make racing more interesting than it really is.

So much so that Mercedes have actually expressed vehement opposition to the idea. If there’s one thing that is currently generating news in the Formula 1 world, then it’s likely got something to do with Mercedes calling out the ‘proposed’ idea as a gimmick and nothing really interesting.

So what exactly is the matter? And what did the team principal Toto Wolff have to say about that?

Apparently, the team aren’t criticising mindlessly; they have put forth some reasons from their end.

Here’s what Toto Wolff had to say, “First of all, there seems to be a common pattern in Formula One, digging out old ideas that had been analysed thoroughly and rejected and then somebody thinks it’s great and it’s back on the agenda.”

Here’s a background to the comments and why suddenly the concept of reverse grids in qualifying are making much noise:

At the second round of the races to be held at Spielberg and Silverstone– remember, both venues are confirmed to hold 2 races this year- F1 proposed scrapping the normal qualifying procedure, suggesting to host a qualifying race worth 30-minutes to determine the formation of the grid for the main race event.

But Toto Wolff’s suggestions seem only rational to the point of levelling a criticism of the idea and he would further add, “You need to look at the reasons why we were against it, and there are three fundamental reasons.

“I believe Formula One is a meritocracy, the best man in the best machine wins; we don’t need a gimmick to turn the field around and create more exciting racing.”

That being said, is there something else too about what can only be called a radical idea that didn’t resonate with the Austrian?

“Number two, I know it from touring car 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 car and that becomes the car that starts on pole for the qualy race on the second weekend. And if that car starts on pole for the qualy race, among midfielders, then he’ll certainly be on pole for Sunday and win the race. There will be cars in the middle that will defend and block as much as they can and, therefore, for the cars coming from behind, there will be more risk for a DNF and that could influence the championship,” he told during a recent skype interaction with a sports media.

In all, according to the boss of the strongest Formula 1 team right now, the entire move seems a big opportunistic in its construct. Moreover, the fact that only 15 percent of the fans have rallied behind this new proposed idea further highlights why it may not be the best thing after all.

What do you reckon?

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