If one examines the case of qualification in Formula One, lining the drivers up from fastest to slowest, then the promise of an exciting race doesn’t make much sense. Moreover, many say it’s fundamentally flawed. This was one reason why the subject of Reverse Grid was so much in news.
Further, with the Concorde Agreement now in place, reverse grid races for the 2021 Formula One season had a high possibility of getting introduced. But with the majority of the teams not supporting the stance, the attention has now shifted to Saturday sprint races this season.
Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali confirmed that the talk about “Reverse grid is over”. While FIA claims sprint race and other such proposals will create competition in Formula One more exciting and balanced, Chief Executive Officer of Williams Racing Jost Capito – thinks otherwise.
“If someone dominates for years then they dominate for years because they are the best,” Jost Capito began his interview, keeping Mercedes winning streak in context.
“It was in rallying, at Volkswagen, when we were quite successful, Jean Todt came up to me at one rally and said ‘hey Jost you are winning too much’. I said ‘go to the others and tell them they are losing too much!’” he continued.
“You shouldn’t blame the guy who does the best job,” he insists, “and I think in motorsport, especially in Formula 1, there shouldn’t be a balance of performance or some artificial competition. The guys who do the best job, and the drivers who do the best job, should win, and if they win for 10 years, they win for 10 years, fine, then everybody has to catch up and has to do a better job.
“You shouldn’t be punished in Formula 1 for not doing the best job, and then if you do a better job and you catch up you shouldn’t be punished by the balance of performance to move back again, yeah?”
Jost Capito feels Reverse Grid is a Drama
Speaking on the agenda, whether sprint races and reverse grids should be used as a qualifier or not, Capito seemed dispassionate overall.
“I really like that in Formula 1 it’s a pure sport, it should stay a pure sport without making it artificially interesting as it’s not what the fans want to see.”
“Formula 1 is the pinnacle of the sport,” he continued, “and it should be attractive because it’s an attractive sport and not because it’s gambling. That’s why I’m not in favour of the reverse grid.”
“This is not because I think we are now in the front of the grid,” he brought the light to Williams, if such a proposal was adopted.
“That’s not why I don’t want reverse grids. If we talk about the regulations, I have to talk about what is the best for the sport, because only if the sport is in the right way, the teams can improve and be in the right way. If the value of Formula 1 goes down, then the value of everybody who is involved goes down.”
“I will push strongly that when we discuss within the teams, when we discuss what is best for the sport.
“And when we decide what is the best for the sport, without just focusing on what is the best for my team in the regulations we have right now, it’s then what’s the best for the sport. Get that aligned and then fight within these regulations and have a competition there.”
The plan of reverse-grid qualifying races is thwarted, and the complete stance regarding the sprint races is yet to be announced. The egalitarian approach would be to support FIA in expanding the pie of opportunity in the Formula One realm.
Whether aiding the less successful team through bringing in the financial restrictions or changing the format of race is going to help reach Formula One to the desired success. Time will tell.
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