F1 to consider sprint race trial in 2021 with reversed grids shelved

Formula 1 is considering trialling a Saturday sprint race format in 2021, with CEO Stefano Domenicali revealing plans for reversed grid qualifying races have been shelved completely

F1 to consider sprint race trial in 2021 with reversed grids shelved

Last year, F1 discussed the possibility of experimenting with some reversed grid races on a Saturday in a bid to spice up the show at certain venues.

But the plans failed to get the full support of teams, with Mercedes in particular vehemently against the proposal that would have left drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas battling from the back.

While it had been expected that a fresh vote would be put to teams this year with a new governance structure meaning that unanimous support was no longer required, that plan is now off the table.

Domenicali has confirmed that while F1 needs to be open to fresh ideas to keep fans engaged, he is clear that reverse grids are no longer an option.

Asked by Autosport about his views on the topic during an interview with selected media on Thursday, Domenicali said: "Reverse grid is over. That's something I can tell you.

"It's important to think maybe of new ideas to be more attractive or interesting, but we don't have to lose the traditional approach of racing.

"I think that what we learned when we were changing the qualifying every two days was something that has burned our fingers. So we need to avoid that, and therefore now I think that the format is quite stable."

While ruling out any possibility for reversed grid races, Domenicali said that F1 was weighing up trying out a Saturday sprint race format to see if it could work.

"What we're looking at is what could be the approach of the so-called sprint race on a Saturday," he explained.

"We are thinking if this could be tested already this year. There are discussions going on with the teams in the right forum, and I think that maybe this could be the only one thing that could be interesting."

Domenicali also suggests that F1 should try to think up some format that better showcases new drivers, who are left without much opportunity for running with testing so limited.

"We need to give attention once again to the rookies, the real rookies," he said. "Today, with the fact that we have less testing, we need to create [chances for running] not only in the free practice, as already is written into the regulations.

"Maybe we can create good events, highlighting the fact that we need to focus the attention on the rookies.

"We have a very good number of young drivers that are already in Formula 1, but we cannot stop that flow going on."

shares
comments
Giovinazzi: Ferrari has set "clear" targets for me in 2021 F1 season

Previous article

Giovinazzi: Ferrari has set "clear" targets for me in 2021 F1 season

Next article

F1 assessing Bahrain double-header if Portuguese GP plans falter

F1 assessing Bahrain double-header if Portuguese GP plans falter
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

Formula 1
Apr 22, 2021
How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021