F1 reconsidering reverse grids

2020 Spanish Grand Prix, Sunday - LAT Images

One thing that concerns me about Formula 1’s over-the-top pragmatism is when something happens in the sport, they decision makers try to re-create the situation through concepts or constructs.

The Canadian Grand Prix that begat high degradation tires or the inability to pass that begat DRS. It’s not to say that some changes to achieve a more exciting sport haven’t worked, that’s not the case, some have been a very welcome change but not all that glitters is gold.

The most recent conversation is the concept of a reverse grid born on the back of the Italian Grand Prix’s mixed up finishing order and victory by Pierre Gasly. During the broadcast, Sky Sports F1 was advocating a reverse grid sprint race multiple times during the show. Now it seems that F1’s sporting director is ready to consider reverse grid racing again. Here is Ross Brawn’s comments regarding Reverse Grid Racing.

Reverse grids worth considering again- Ross Brawn

“Monza was a candidate for a reverse grid sprint race when we were considering testing the format this year. Unfortunately, we could not move forward with it, but the concept is still something we and the FIA want to work through in the coming months and discuss with the teams for next year. We believe that yesterday’s race showed the excitement a mixed-up pack can deliver and with next year’s cars remaining the same as this year – our fans could be treated to the similar drama we saw this weekend at Monza.

Of course, with a reverse grid sprint race, teams will set their cars up differently. Right now, Mercedes set their cars up to achieve the fastest lap and then to control the race from the front. If they know they have to overtake, they will have to change that approach. We will continue to evaluate new formats with the aim of improving the show but always maintaining the DNA of Formula 1.”

Is Reverse Grid Racing needed?

What do you think? Do you like the concept of reverse grid racing or do you feel it is the wrong move for F1? With the changing regulations in 2022 intended on improving racing dramatically , are reverse grids needed?

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Tom Firth

I’m not really sold on the idea of introducing them in the main event on the Sunday. I wouldn’t be against the idea of a sprint race with reverse grids on the Saturday though. I agree with your comments on F1 being quite reactionary to things that people enjoyed, forgetting the reason it was enjoyable is it was different from the norm.

Xean Drury

Dear lord no. This was only interesting this one time because of the circumstances around it. If it were a start to end race situation, most passes will be ‘you’re not racing so-and-so, let them by’. So the whole thing will be a bit pointless really. If you have to use tricks like this to make the sport artificially exciting, then maybe your sport is not exciting and you should look at how to make it more ACTUALLY exciting.


Yes yes a thousand times yes xean.


With F1 being so reactionary, surely what we learnt from Monza was that to make a race exciting isn’t reverse grids, but it’s to remove all flags & lights. Penalties still count, you just don’t know about it. Didn’t slow down in a yellow flag area, too bad, 10s penalty. Didn’t move over for a blue flag, 20s penalty for you….

Yes, I am being ironic.


I assume that the reverse grid would be determined by reversing the order of qualifying. So as is currently the case, Mercedes qualifies on pole consistently, would start last, but what is stop a team from simply sand-baging during qualifying? Instead of a qualifying session that sees the teams trying to get the fastest lap they could in order to secure the best starting position possible, we could see teams trying to go slowest in order to secure the best starting position. How would this in any way be good for F1, for racing or for the fans? If they… Read more »