Horner suggests non-championship race to trial reverse grid

Christian Horner is no fan of F1’s reverse grid idea, but the Red Bull team boss is nevertheless open to the concept being trialed, perhaps in a non-championship event.

F1 chief Ross Brawn recently tabled a plan that would see a reverse grid qualifying race take place at selected events in 2021.

The sport has initiated a poll to gauge the F1 fan community’s support for the idea, but the teams’ and drivers’ reaction to the novel concept has so far been anything but enthusiastic, with many equating it to an artificial gimmick that will boost the chances of mid-field teams but also lessen the value of a win.

However, Horner believes that Formula 1 “shouldn’t be scared of perhaps trying something different”, but perhaps only in specific conditions.

    Read also: F1 drivers fear ‘artificial’ reverse grids will devalue wins

“If there was an occasion or a type of venue, or an invitation race, or maybe even a non-championship race, if something like that could be tried, it would be very interesting to see what the outcome of it would be,” Horner said, speaking in Friday’s team principals’ conference in Sochi.

“The problem is, if you don’t try something, you never know. I think it’s very easy to get stuck into a rut of saying that’s ridiculous, it wouldn’t work, and the purist in me says the same.

“But sometimes in life you’ve got to try things and see what the outcome is. If that could be done in a manner that didn’t affect the championship – because I can’t see how you could have a different rule for one race to the other event – but maybe a non-championship race, an invitation race.

“We’ve got all these great new circuits that are pushing for races this year that we won’t be able to accommodate in future years.

“If one event was selected to try a different format, to try something totally different, what would we have to lose?”

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Unanimity among F1’s teams will no longer be required in 2021 to vote through changes, but if three teams oppose a plan, it cannot be passed.

Mercedes and McLaren have stated that they would both oppose the introduction of a reverse grid scheme, and it’s likely they other affiliated teams would follow suit.

Horner believes F1 missed an opportunity to force a trial on teams earlier this year, at the Red Bull Ring or at Silverstone, venues that hosted double-headers.

“We missed that opportunity unfortunately this year because racing twice at two venues in Austria and at Silverstone, it would have allowed that opportunity but why not have two races in Austria for example? You could have them within a week.

“And of course there are so many permutations and questions surrounding it; at the moment it’s just an idea that I’m putting out in front of you after the question that I’ve been asked.

“It’s not something that’s been discussed with other teams or with Liberty or the FIA. It’s just a reaction to the question asked.”

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