‘F1 needs competition more than reverse grids’

Michelle Foster
Interlagos, home of Sao Paulo Grand Prix

Sao Paulo Grand Prix contract suspended.

Although no opposed to the idea of reverse grids, Cyril Abiteboul says Formula 1 needs a competitive field more than it needs gimmicks.

Formula 1 bosses had considered running reverse grid races at this year’s double headers but the plan was shelved only to be dusted off again after the Italian Grand Prix.

The chaotic race that was red flagged ended with Pierre Gasly taking the victory ahead of Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll.

Immediately the idea of doing something to shake up the order was again proposed.

F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn says he would still like to the sport trial reverse grids, even if it is a reverse grid sprint race for qualifying.

Renault team boss Abiteboul says he is open to the idea but he would rather Formula 1 be in a position where those in the midfield have a genuine opportunity to race for wins.

“I still believe that reverse grid is a great opportunity for mixing things up and offering a show,” said the Frenchman, “but I still believe it’s an artefact and we should have the ambition of offering exciting races without that artefact.

“We’ve had, again, fantastic races this year, we’ve had fantastic races also last year with lots of things happening without reverse grid.

“We just need the field to be more competitive. I think that should be the focal point.

“If you have 20 cars within half a second, or a second, that will offer you a great show in my opinion – providing you have the opportunity to overtake.

“We don’t want to turn Formula 1 into DTM.

“So, I think that we are near enough 2022 not to have to use that artefact at this point in time.”

Formula 1 will introduce a host of new regulations in 2022, moving to ground effect aerodynamics in the hoping of improving the show.

Get your hands on the official Renault 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store

Renault now "underdogs" for P3 but not giving up.

Williams’ acting team boss Simon Roberts agrees with his Renault counterpart.

“We’ve only just started looking at again,” he said. ” We had a look just over a year ago. Didn’t do much work on it from that. We’re just starting to model it now. It introduces some jeopardy but there are two side to that.

“As Cyril said, the pace of the cars currently, we’re not really sure how much difference it really makes on the feature races. It’s early days. Things have already shifted, as Cyril said.
“The pace of the cars is different. We don’t have the normal three at the top. We kind of reserve judgement and still want to study it in detail before we make any decisions on that.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.