Because of some of the tracks in the new, revised 2020 F1 schedule hosting double races, such as Red Bull Ring and Silverstone, the organisers were seeking possibilities to make the races and the season more interesting. The idea of bringing the reverse grids was considered for the second of the double races in order for them to not be entirely the same as the first one. However, Mercedes blocked the idea immediately, with the boss of Mercedes Toto Wolff deeming the format change as “a gimmick”.
Gunther Steiner on the other hand believes we should have first seen it in action in order to draw a final conclusion, maybe a similar one to Toto Wolff’s. In an interview with motorsport.com, Steiner admitted he is “not against it”. As he said himself: “We had an opportunity as we never had two races in the same place week after week. So to mix up the order, I think it would have been a good opportunity to try it out and see how it works. And then we can decide if it’s a gimmick, if you like it or if you don’t like it. I always say, I’m always prepared to try something.”
He added: “Always you need to be strong enough to say that if it didn’t work, you’re not getting stubborn and saying because we tried it you have to do it now [always because] I want to prove myself right. If we tried it twice this year…we have two races, and then evaluate afterwards, listen a little bit what the people say, and then say, ‘Hey, is it worthwhile to do or not? If it is a gimmick for F1, let’s be done with that. [We] don’t do it again, because we’re not going to do two races again in the future [anyway] so you’ve got already a way out of it. If it is fantastic, let’s talk about introducing it to all the normal races. I’m always for giving you an opportunity to try things, therefore I would have voted for it yes.”
Although the idea of reverse grid races polarised the opinions within the community as a whole, Steiner has a good point - even if one agrees or disagrees with the idea, it is hard to ultimately judge it without even seeing it. Last week Ross Brawn admitted that another idea F1 considered bringing back was the “dropped points” system, but they decided very fast it was not a good idea, as many of the teams could have abused the rule. Although so far there is no proper information if the weekend formats will be revised in any way, the beginning of 2020 season is closer and closer.