Who Would Thrive If F1 Introduced A Reverse Grid GP?

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A522. Hungarian Grand Prix, Saturday 30th July 2022. Budapest, Hungary.
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A522. Hungarian Grand Prix, Saturday 30th July 2022. Budapest, Hungary.

The powers-that-be at Formula 1 are seemingly in a never-ending quest to revolutionize the sport and bring in a new audience.

The sprint races are one innovation that seems to have had a ‘love it or hate it’ impact with fans, and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has recently mooted the idea of putting points on the line for Friday qualifying sessions.

Another concept that has been floated has been that of a reverse grid, which would see the perennial favorites in the F1 betting online start at the back of the chasing pack, while also-rans such as Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon get to lead off from the front.

It’s an interesting idea, and would certainly mix things up as far as the final leaderboard is concerned. Would the sports betting tips online still plump for Red Bull and Ferrari drivers in their race predictions, or would they be willing to take a chance on those unheralded pilots given a boost up to the front of the grid?

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have previously spoken out against the reverse grid concept, while the legendary Alain Prost has called upon F1 chiefs to ensure the sport retains its ‘traditional’ approach.

But, if the reverse grid format was to be brought in, who would thrive the most?

Sergio Perez

Although he would start from the rear of the pack given his position in the 2022 Drivers’ Championship, the speed of the Red Bull RB18 – and the considerable skill of Sergio Perez – would be sufficient for the Mexican to cut through the field and get back to the front.

Although he only has a sole win to his name this term, Perez has finished second on six different occasions – not bad considering he has only been on pole once.

The 32-year-old delivered the fastest lap of the race in Spain, Azerbaijan and Italy, and that pedigree would see him prosper even when starting from the back of the grid.

Carlos Sainz Jr

The foot-to-the-floor speed of the F1-75 would hand Ferrari’s drivers an edge in getting from back to front on a reverse grid, and Carlos Sainz Jr would be ideally poised to strike.

In theory, he would start from 15th in such conditions based on the 2022 standings, and we’ve seen a number of wins in F1 coming from that location of the grid – typically with faster cars in front than would be the case with a reverse grid.

The Spaniard delivered the fastest lap in France and Canada, and but for the inconsistencies of his Ferrari you wonder if he would be more forcefully challenging for third place in the 2022 F1 Drivers’ Championship.

Esteban Ocon

The Frenchman is a driver who routinely performs better on race day than in qualifying.

He qualified in 12th, 16th and 14th at the Dutch, Belgian and Italian Grand Prix respectively, and yet would go on to finish 9th, 7thand 11th in a campaign of consummate consistency.

Ocon would have the beating of most in front of him on a reverse grid, and as long as could hold off the likes of Perez, Sainz Jr and Formula 1’s other speed kings, the BWT Alpine driver could thrive in the sport’s brave new world.

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