The Italian Grand Prix offered F1 fans an exciting result with Pierre Gasly winning in his Alpha Tauri. The team hadn’t won a race since the Italian Grand Prix in 2008. It also renewed a full-throated endorsement of the revers-grid concept from Sky Sports F1’s broadcast team as well as F1’s sporting director, Ross Brawn.
I’ve been relatively quiet about this concept since it’s inception because it doesn’t matter what I think about but be that as it may, I am not a fan of the concept. Today, it is clear that Sebastian Vettel isn’t either and here’s why.
“I think it’s completely wrong,” said Vettel.
“Obviously it’s a testimony that if you are pushing in that direction that you have failed to come up with regulations and tools that bring the field more together, and make racing better on track.
“As a reminder, we had new front wing regulations which cost everybody a fortune, but ultimately hasn’t changed much in terms of racing.
“I think it would be wrong.”
It’s balancing act and argument that the teams have been winning for years. The black art of aerodynamics is a least-cost solution to more speed and while I understand that, it will take a bold FIA decision to change the aero regulations for better racing. That’s much easier said than done.
We do have new regulations coming but as Sebastian says, they need to solve for the issue and not just mask it or kick it down the road.
“The hopes are on 2022, I guess, for the regulation changes,” he added.
“But I think we need to fix that and address the main points, rather than try to play the lottery.
“I think it’s just against the element of sport and competition, so as a competitor, I think as much as I don’t like other people to win, I have to accept if other people win, or do a better job.
“Therefore I think it would be wrong in the name of sport to try and mix things up that way.”
Formula One needs to get away from solving their ills “using this one weird trick” and get back to a comprehensive regulation set that mitigates the designs that stall the trailing cars. IF the cars are slower overall, that’s ok because the racing would be better.
That’s not a popular notion give Brawn’s desire to consider reverse grids. It’s not popular given Sky Sports and their energetic endorsement but I’d argue these are short-term gains when what F1 needs is long-term solutions.