Speaking to the media today, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff told them why his team were against reverse grid qualifying races which F1 wanted to trial during the 2020 season.
The other nine teams had agreed to it, but with Mercedes voting against it and the sport needing all ten teams to agree on it to implement it, it looks like it won’t happen, for now.
Wolff said: “[Number one], I believe that Formula 1 is a meritocracy – the best man in the best machine wins. We don’t need a gimmick to turn the field around to create more exciting racing.
“Number two, I know it from touring car racing that strategies become a very useful too when one race result is basically making the grid for the next one.
“Just imagine one of the drivers not running well on the Sunday race of the first Spielberg weekend and you decide to DNF the car, that will be the car that starts on pole for the qualy race.
“And if that car is starting on pole with midfielders he will certainly be on pole for Sunday and win the race.
“There will be cars in the middle that will defend and block as much as they can and therefore for the quicker cars coming from behind it will mean more risk for a DNF and that could influence the championship.
“And then, from a pure performance standpoint, whoever the fastest car may be, and it’s not necessarily us, will be penalised towards the second- and third-quickest teams because they will simply start in front.
“And as we know the margins are often not very large so therefore it’s a bit of an opportunistic move to give some teams an advantage.
“So it was us, yeah, we said this is not the time to experiment with things that interestingly didn’t even have the support of Formula 1’s fan community because in a survey only 15% expressed an interest in reverse grids.”