Formula One has confirmed it will not go ahead with plans to include reverse-grid qualifying races at select grands prix this year, but said it is still open to experimentation with weekend formats.
F1’s newly-released European schedule features consecutive races at the same circuit in Austria and Great Britain and the sport had proposed mixing up the show at the second race at each of those venues in order to keep viewers entertained.
The proposed idea sought to replace the usual qualifying format with a 30-minute race to decide the grid for Sunday’s grand prix, with the starting order of the qualifying race on Saturday being dictated by reverse championship order. No points would be given out for the qualifying race, but in theory it would see the fastest cars make their way through the field in order to gain a good starting position for the grand prix.
The idea gained support among the majority of teams but was opposed from the off by world champions Mercedes. Without unanimous support from the teams such changes cannot be made to this year’s regulations, but F1 CEO Chase Carey said the sport was still open to experimenting with different ideas.
“We’ve had discussions in the past couple of years about should we look at ways to make some changes that honour the sport, respect what has made the sport great but we think would