Over the winter, the F1 bosses expect to talk with the teams in order to agree with the format for the six sprint races that are planned for the 2022 season. Because the expectations that they had were not really delivered during the events, they’re aiming at finding a solution that will make the Saturday’s 100km sprint more exciting. F1 is considering awarding m ore championship points for the sprint races, but some teams believe it would be an even better idea to introduce the reverse grids, to spice up the competition.
Although not all teams agree on such a format, Ferrari thinks that how the last weekend’s Brazilian GP played out is a proof that it would work. To recap, due to a DRS rules breach Hamilton was disqualified from qualifying, which made him start the Saturday’s sprint race from the back of the grid. After a phenomenal charge he managed to finish 5th, that left him starting from 10th on the Sunday’s race - due to a penalty for a PU change - and seen him take a victory on the Brazilian soil after battling Verstappen.
Mattia Binotto, the team principal of Scuderia Ferrari believes that this event was a proof a reverse grid would work for the sprint races. During an interview with motorsport.com, he was asked if he felt that Interlagos came with evidence to support that, to which he replied: “I think it does honestly, because of so many overtakings, and so much fun. I think we should really consider it, and that's obviously for the sprint race format. Having seen what happens, I think it's even not debatable.”
While Ferrari thinks the reverse grid sprint race would work, others are not so keen on that idea. For example, Daniel Ricciardo from McLaren says that this format would potentially devalue the importance of the Sunday’s F1 race. As he said: “Don't get me wrong, Lewis starting at the back made the race even more exciting for spectators. I’m quite sure of that. “So I think the [sprint] race benefited from at least having Lewis in a reverse grid position.
“It couldn't be more exciting, but I still stand by the view that a win should be a win.
“I know it's just a sprint race, so holds less value, but I still feel that to cross the line first, you still should be the best driver, at least in that race itself.
“So if you've only done it because you qualified last but started on pole, I'm not sure. I don't know how much satisfaction you can take from that. So it's probably more just a personal feeling of satisfaction that would maybe make me steer away from that reverse grid idea still.”
With whom do you agree more? Ferrari or Ricciardo?