Reverse grids on the agenda at Formula One Strategy Group meeting

Published: Monday 22nd February 2016 by The News Editor

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Christian Horner has said reverse grids and points for qualifying will be on the agenda when Formula One’s hierarchy meet to determine the future of the sport.

The Formula One Strategy Group – consisting of the sport’s major players, as well as chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, and FIA president Jean Todt – will gather in Geneva on Tuesday in a bid to make the sport more exciting.

The crunch talks will take place under the backdrop of Ecclestone claiming that Formula One is the “worst it has ever been”.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, the 85-year-old also said he would not bother buying a ticket to watch the sport which he promotes around the globe.

The revolutionary concept of mixing up the grid in order to make the races more unpredictable, has been discussed before. But Horner, who will head to Switzerland for the meeting, claims the radical idea will once more be on the agenda.

“One of the things that will be tabled tomorrow will be something that I think Bernie’s quite keen on, which is reversing the top 10 and therefore having points for qualifying,” said Horner.

“It will encourage drivers to push on a Saturday and then encourage them to race on a Sunday. I’m sure it will get discussed. Whether that will get agreed or not I really don’t know.”

While Britain’s Lewis Hamilton heads into the new season as the overwhelming favourite to win his third consecutive championship, the sport’s global appeal appears to be on the wane.

Television audiences are falling, with Hamilton’s Mercedes, winners of 32 of the last 38 races, being attributed much of the blame.

Reflecting on Ecclestone’s damning comments, Horner, who was speaking on the opening day of the first winter test in Barcelona, added: “Bernie has made up the Formula One brand to what it is today. Of course it has got its issues but fundamentally it is a great show.

“It has an enormous following around the world, it has a huge fan base and the talent that exists in Formula One is unique in the sporting playing field.

“Could it be better? Of course it could. I don’t think Formula One is in crisis but we have got an opportunity to do something really good and hopefully that is not missed.”

Radical changes to the aerodynamic regulations will be discussed on Tuesday with, faster, more aggressive-looking cars also on the agenda.

A majority decision on the direction of the sport from 2017 onwards must be reached before the end of February, and Horner, in favour of a new-look formula, has called on his peers not to waste their moment to improve the show.

“We’ve done all the research, we know the numbers, and you can use whatever excuses you like,” he added.

“Tomorrow [Tuesday] is a great opportunity to do something fantastic for the fans, to push the drivers, to come up with a car that is absolutely spectacular, and I think that’s what we should be aiming to do.”

Published: Monday 22nd February 2016 by The News Editor

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