(Motorsport-Total.com) – Christian Horner regrets that the idea of a qualifying race on Saturday may fail due to the veto of two teams. The proposal from Liberty Media and the FIA, which was submitted to the Formula 1 teams last week, basically has “overwhelming support”, Horner reveals in an interview with ‘Sky’. But: “The only one who didn’t support that was Toto. Because he believes that Lewis’ chances of a seventh World Cup are too limited.”
The idea is revolutionary: the second race weekend is to be held under a new format on those tracks where the drivers drive twice in a row (as of today Spielberg and Silverstone). A qualifying race is planned for Saturday, for which the starting positions will be taken in a broken order of the current World Cup status.
Whoever wins this qualifying race will be in pole position on Sunday when it comes to championship points. But the idea can only be implemented with unanimity, and it is currently not in sight. Horner regrets this: “We won’t get a better option than these back-to-back races,” he said in an interview with ‘Motorsport-Total.com’.
Interesting: Horner confirms that the format experiment is planned for Spielberg and Silverstone, but at the same time speaks of a possible further event “later in the year”. It is not clear which venue it could be. It is conceivable, however, that two Grand Prix races will be held in succession in Bahrain towards the end of the year.
Horner fears: twice the same balance of power
“The problem,” says Horner, “is that the result will most likely be the same if we ride the same format twice on the same route. Now we have a chance to try something different, and before the first one starts Rennens is clear about what we do, and that would not change during the season, we would have no problem with that. “
“Unfortunately”, there was “a team” that “was against it. It’s a shame that we cannot take advantage of this opportunity.” For the sake of completeness it should be mentioned: According to information from ‘Motorsport-Total.com’, Racing Point, the team of Toto Wolff’s friend Lawrence Stroll, has expressed concerns about the proposed format and has so far not made any clear commitments.
Red Bull, Horner emphasizes, is not afraid that you have to work from back to front on Saturday in order to be in a good starting position on Sunday. No wonder, with Max Verstappen you have one of the most uncompromising overtaking drivers of Formula 1 in your own stable. But it is true that it is the top teams that have the most to lose if their starting grid falls.
“We have won the Austrian Grand Prix for the past two years. We potentially have as much to lose, especially on the track,” Horner sweeps away the alleged Mercedes concerns. “It would be so positive for Formula 1. We won’t get a better option than if we drive the same route twice.”
Opposite direction is no longer an option
“I don’t see what should make you look at the same race again a week later. But if we change the format, the appeal and curiosity increase. I hope that Mercedes will think it over and support the idea. Ultimately, the challenge is the same for all teams and drivers, “argues Horner.
Otherwise, Formula 1 has little opportunity to do something different at the second Spielberg and Silverstone races. FIA race director Michael Masi has already ruled out the idea, which is particularly hotly debated by fans, of driving in the opposite direction to fuel the spectacle, for safety reasons.
Another option could be to drive different route variants. Horner: “Silverstone has different layouts. It would be a shame if we missed the opportunity to experiment as much as possible. This is the perfect opportunity to try something different with a view to the future.”