For­mula 1 rac­ing aims to change its start­ing game

Daily Dispatch - - Front Page -

For­mula One is set to push for re­verse-grid sprint races in place of qual­i­fy­ing at some cir­cuits in 2021 af­ter Sun­day’s thrilling Ital­ian Grand Prix high­lighted the ex­cite­ment po­ten­tial.

The Monza race was halted half­way when Fer­rari’s Charles Le­clerc crashed. Its restartwit­h a mixed grid amounted to a sprint to the fin­ish.

The re­sult was a sur­prise first­time win­ner in Al­phaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, with McLaren’s Car­los Sainz and Rac­ing Point’s Lance Stroll com­plet­ing a podium with none of the usual top three teams.

For­mula One’s mo­tor­sport MD Ross Brawn said the race made the stalled plan worth con­sid­er­ing again.

“Monza was a can­di­date for a re­verse-grid sprint race when we were con­sid­er­ing test­ing the for­mat this year,” he wrote on the for­mula1.com web­site.

“Un­for­tu­nately, we could not move for­ward with it, but the con­cept is still some­thing we and the [gov­ern­ing] Fia want to work through in the com­ing months and dis­cuss with the teams for next year.

“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.”

The idea re­quired unanimous ap­proval but was blocked by Mercedes for 2020. That no longer ap­plies for 2021, with a new com­mer­cial Con­corde Agree­ment in place from next year and changes pos­si­ble with a “su­per ma­jor­ity”.

That means the plan could pro­ceed, even if two teams are op­posed.

Brawn said teams would nat­u­rally set up their cars dif­fer­ently if they knew they were go­ing into a for­mal re­verse-grid sprint race.

“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.” —

Pic­ture: PETER FOX/GETTY IM­AGES

WIN­NERS AT LAST: Scud­e­ria Al­phaTauri team mem­bers cel­e­brate the win of Pierre Gasly dur­ing the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Au­to­dromo di Monza on Sun­day in Monza, Italy.

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