Binotto: Sprint race proved F1 should consider reverse grids

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Just when we thought that the contentious topic of reverse grids in F1 had been swept under the tarmac, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has brought it back into the spotlight.

Lewis Hamilton's outstanding recovery drive from last to fifth in Saturday's 34-lap sprint event at Interlagos earned the Mercedes driver the plaudits of the Brazilian crowd.

But Binotto reckoned that the Mercedes driver's remarkable drive provided some food for thought for how to produce some thrilling entertainment and spice up F1's sprint race concept.

"I think it is [feasible], honestly because of what happened with so many overtakes, so much fun,” said the Scuderia chief.

"I think we should really consider it and that’s obviously for the sprint race format and having seen what happened, I think it’s not debatable."


Formula 1 is set to double the number of sprint events next season, with the sport's chief executive Stefano Domenicali revealing recently that there's a healthy demand from promoters to add the 30-minute mad dash to their weekend program.

However, introducing reverse grids into the mix isn't a prospect that would be welcomed by fans according to the global survey recently conducted by The Formula One Group, as they fear that the concept would represent a mere artificial gimmick to boost the spectacle on the track.

For 2022, Ross Brawn is likely to defer to the opinion of the fans, but F1's managing director remains eager to trial the idea at some point, perhaps within the context of a standalone Saturday sprint that would have no bearing on the championship.

"If we’re doing that then maybe a standalone event is consideration," said Brawn back in September.

"I think qualifying on a Friday, race on a Sunday, with a standalone event with some decent reward [in between] – but maybe a little bit of jeopardy in the grid of how you start it.

"But we’ve always got to be conscious, we don’t want gimmicks, we don’t want an artificial [show], we don’t want to cannibalise [the grand prix], we don’t want to affect the integrity.

"It’s a difficult balance. But there’s definitely potential there."

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