McLaren is firmly against the introduction of reversed-grid races in Formula 1 due to the “artificial randomness” it would set in motion, says its Team Principal Andreas Seidl.
F1 explored the possibility of having reverse grid races at certain events in 2020 but the idea was benched after unanimous support among the teams was not received.
However, F1’s Managing Director Ross Brawn says the sport is still looking to initiate reverse grid races, perhaps as early as 2021, citing the excitement of AlphaTauri’s victory Monza earlier this month.
Seidl believes the sport won’t benefit from the plan, as he would like to see the fastest car and driver qualify at the front on Saturday.
“Fair or unfair, in the end it introduces some kind of artificial randomness which from our point of view simply shouldn’t be part of F1 as I said,” Seidl commented.
“For me and for us F1 has always been competition between constructors, teams, drivers, the best team and best driver should be at the front in qualifying, and the same on Sunday in the race.
“If you are not the car that runs at the front it means you need to work hard to catch up.”
Throughout Thursday at Sochi, drivers spoke out against the idea, which Seidl believes sends a “pretty clear” message, adding that no discussions have taken place between teams.
Seidl added that teams perhaps would’ve been more open to doing it at one of the double-header races earlier this year, “but now with the calendar we have for the rest of this year, even in Bahrain running two different tracks, I don’t see the need to do it.”
The former Porsche WEC boss also believes it would make little sense to have reversed-grid races to create excitement now as new regulations, including a budget cap and a new car design, will be introduced over the next couple of years.
“Next year I’m aware that it’s kind of an interim year, probably not seeing a big change, at least at the front of the grid in terms of pecking order,” he said.
“But as I said everything that comes into the game from 2022 onwards with the budget cap and new technical regulations, I think will help close the grid again to have more competition.
“I think that’s positive and why we think it would be wrong to introduce any artificial randomness now.”