Wolff: Reverse grids a ‘baseball bat’ to F1

Jamie Woodhouse
Toto Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team rejected the concept of reverse-grid races because it’s totally against their racing beliefs.

The idea was put back on the table this year as a way of spicing up the formats of race weekends at venues that are set to host multiple rounds this season.

Mercedes agreed to vote through the new financial regulations and the new sliding scale of aero development time based on where a team finishes in the Constructors’ Championship.

But they had no intention of agreeing to reverse-grid races which Wolff said was like taking a “baseball bat” to F1.

“I am a fan of the meritocracy of F1, the best man and best machine wins,” he told Autosport.

“And this is how it always was, no gimmicky stuff like in some other sports, where the show people have added components that have diluted the sport.

“I hate any kind of balance of performance. It becomes a political game and a political World Championship, and has no place in F1.

“What has been introduced with the new ATR is a possibility for the lowered ranked teams to slowly creep back in terms of development scope to where the leading teams are.

“It’s tiny percentages every year so that’s not going to make a big difference from one year to the other, but it’s going to balance the field out after a few years.

“I believe that if you’re not good enough to win any more, then you have equal opportunity. You’re second or third, you have more scope again than the World Champion.

“I think it was done as a fine adjustment, not with a baseball bat. The reverse grids would have been a baseball bat.”

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