Toto Wolff: Three reasons why Mercedes is against qualifying races

(Motorsport-Total.com) – Toto Wolff explained the reasons why Mercedes opposed the idea of ​​qualifying races. Formula 1 wanted to run a 30-minute qualifying race in the reverse order of starting the championship standings in the second race of a double event, but because unanimity was required, Mercedes’ veto was enough to knock the idea off.

Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff has good reasons why Mercedes is voting against qualifying races

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“It seems to be a common pattern in Formula 1 that we dig up old ideas that have already been thoroughly investigated and rejected,” the Mercedes Motorsport director wondered in a video call with journalists, why the idea came back on the table at all. “Someone thinks it’s a good idea and then it’s back on the agenda.”

However, as with similar proposals last year, Mercedes was again against a reversal of the starting grid – and Wolff gives three reasons for this. “Firstly: I believe that Formula One is a performance company,” said the Austrian. “The best driver in the best car wins. We don’t need a gimmick to turn the field and make racing more exciting.”

The second reason he sees tactical reasons that speak against it. Already in touring car series it could be seen again and again that drivers intentionally drive to the rear to be at the front in a race with the opposite starting grid. Wolff fears something similar in Formula 1.


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Mainly because the second race in Spielberg is also the second of the season. The race result of the first race would therefore be equivalent to the line-up in the qualifying race. A pilot who is not doing so well in the first race could intentionally fail to be on pole for the qualifying race.

If there are only midfield cars around him, “he will definitely be on pole on Sunday and win the race,” believes Wolff. “The midfield cars will defend themselves as much as possible and the fast cars in the back are at greater risk of failing. That could affect the championship.”

Wolff’s third argument: “The fastest car – and it doesn’t necessarily have to be us – is disadvantaged over the second fastest and third fastest because they just start in front of it. We know that the gaps are often not big, so it’s an opportunistic suggestion to give some teams an edge. “

In addition, the Mercedes boss does not believe that the fans like the proposal at all: “We said that it is not the time to experiment with things that, interestingly, do not even have the support of the fan community,” he says. “In a recent survey, only 15 percent showed interest in reverse grid positions.”

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