Mercedes’ chief Toto Wolff has once again rejected the idea of reversed grid races forming part of the Formula 1 format next year, claiming the sport shouldn’t be “random” like WWE.
The idea of reversed grid races has been thrown about for years but became a serious idea for 2020, when F1’s motorsports director Ross Brawn put a proposal forward to run reversed grid races at three events, only for it to be rejected by Mercedes.
Following last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, which saw an unlikely winner in Pierre Gasly thanks to a shuffled order where the ‘big names’ started from the back as a result of a red flag, the idea has once again popped up.
Brawn was quoted as saying after the race that reversed grid races are “still on the table for next year“, with Monza evidence they can create much needed action and excitement.
Wolff’s position hasn’t changed though as he compared reversed grid races to WWE.
“I think I have a better idea: to do reverse grid in alphabetical order of team names and then we would change our name to AMG,” he joked.
“I don’t think that we should mess with any of the formats. We have seen racing series that have tried to change a format that has historically been understood by the fans – NASCAR and the chase comes to my mind.
“I don’t think we should be messing around. This is not because I have a Mercedes bias, on the contrary, I like the variability and unpredictability and we will have races that will be very different such as the Monza race. But nobody wants a winner that has started from a reverse grid.
“I don’t think we should be designing freak results where it is almost impossible to overtake, just because we believe the pecking order should be a different one. This is a meritocracy where best man and best machine wins.
“This is not World Wrestling (WWE) where the outcome is completely random. If you want to do random, let’s make it a show, but I think the core DNA of the sport is that it is a sport and then an entertainment platform. It is not a show, it is not a reality show and it is not Big Brother, and I don’t think we should be going there.”