Formula 1 managing director of motorsports, Ross Brawn, has accused Mercedes chief Toto Wolff of failing to take the “bigger view” into account when he rejected F1’s plans for reversed-grid races.
With the season set to host at least two double-header events at the same venue (Austria and Britain), there are fears the second of the two races will simply be a carbon copy and therefore not as entertaining.
F1 proposed holding a reversed-grid race on the Saturday of the second Austrian and British rounds to mix things up, with the result from that forming the grid for the Sunday event.
Whilst the proposal received widespread support, Mercedes’ Wolff objected and effectively killed the plan, which requires unanimous support to go ahead.
Speaking to Autosport, Brawn said although he understood Wolff’s concerns, he wishes the Austrian team boss would have considered the “bigger view” that it would have been beneficial to the sport.
“We thought that this coming season with the necessity to have some of the grands prix as second weekends at the same track it would be a perfect idea for the second race,” said Brawn.
“But we couldn’t because of Mercedes. Toto was quite frank in the meeting. ‘We’re in what we think is the best competitive position, we’re chasing a seventh world championship, why would I give up that opportunity I have? Because this proposal will put me in a far more difficult position.’
“I understood that and respected it. I wish that he would have taken a bigger view, but he didn’t.”
There are now proposals to supply different tyre compounds for the second race, in the hope this will at least shake-up the strategies, although whether that will impact the race result is yet to be seen.