Horner expects "very different" F1 to be just as "fierce"

Tanya Simon
June 6, 2020

Last week F1 and the 10 team principals discussed the idea of running sprint-style qualifying races set by reverse championship order during the second weekend of double-header events this season to determine the grid for the main grand prix on Sunday.

The battle between Formula 1 teams will be just as "fierce" as ever when racing resumes in Austria next month, reckons Red Bull's Christian Horner, despite the unique circumstances of closed door events.

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"It seemed to get overwhelming support".

Toto Wolff has defined why Mercedes are opposed to reverse-grid races in 2020, telling Sky Sports F1 that the world champions should not ready to "make any gifts" for his or her rivals by making a "lottery".

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes Formula One can not become "like wrestling" amid the debate over reverse-grid sprint races.

"And if that vehicle starting on pole on the qualy race is within midfielders, he will certainly be on pole for Sunday and win the race".

"First of all, we seem to be digging out old ideas that have been diligently analysed and have been rejected for some good reasons", explained Wolff in an interview which aired at the start of Wednesday's Sky F1 Vodcast.

"So you need to look at the reasons why we were against it, and there's three fundamental reasons".

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"One of those reasons is that we know it from touring vehicle racing that strategy games are the name of the game, and if you know that you're not in a great position on the weekend before, you may decide to DNF a auto and start the next weekend on pole".

A formal vote could be held on the matter this week, with the eight-race European calendar of the F1 2020 campaign to begin on July 5 and 12 with a double header in Austria.

Wolff said a qualifying race could turn into a real battle, with more risk in overtaking "that could influence the championship".

"And then [third], from a pure performance standpoint, whoever the fastest auto may be, and it's not necessarily us, will be penalised [compared to the] second and third quickest teams, because they will simply start in front".

Although the changes may be hard for the "big teams" to accommodate in the short-term, Horner says that he accepts that the change is a good thing for Formula 1 in the long run. It's a great sport with great history, great heroes, great stars, incredibly talented drivers and other individuals so we want to respect everything to a degree but we want to make sure that [respect] doesn't mean we wouldn't look at ways to make some changes'.

To conclude, Wolff also brings in a research result about what the fans think of the new plans.

"It's a bit of an opportunistic move to give some teams an advantage", he added. Best man, and best machine wins. "We want to make sure they're not gimmicks", he said via Formula1.com.

"But I think we'll continue [talks] but it won't be unique to this".

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