Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has lent his support to experimenting with replacing the qualifying with another race with a reverse grid in Austria. The proposal which has come from the governing body FIA and commercial rights holders Liberty Media calls for the pre-race qualification to be replaced by a 30-minute race in which drivers start in reverse order of the finishing positions in the previous race.
Horner however said that he is not confident of it going through because of rivals Mercedes’ opposition to it.
“I think we’ve got a unique situation this year, and having two races at the same venue — it would seem the perfect time to try something different at that second event,” Horner told Sky Sports’ The F1 Show.
“Otherwise, with stable weather conditions, we’re likely to have the same output in race two as we have in race one.
“(The proposal) seemed to get overwhelming support. The only person that wasn’t particularly supportive of it was (Mercedes team principal) Toto (Wolff) because he thought it would interfere with Lewis’ (Hamilton) seventh world championship campaign, and it would be too much of a variable.”
Mercedes have won the last six Constructors’ titles with Hamilton winning the adjacent drivers’ titles. A seventh win this year would help him equal F1 great Michael Schumacher’s record.
Mercedes for their part however said that their opposition was for a different reason. “…we don’t believe F1 needs gimmicks to make it attractive. We believe in the sport to deliver excitement,” they are quoted as saying by Sky Sports.