It is possible that the start of the Formula 1 season will be different than it has always been, as the series is considering experimenting with a reversed grid sprint race during the Grands Prix in Austria and Great Britain on Saturday. The result of this ‘qualification’ will determine the starting grid of the race on Sunday.
Last Friday this would have been discussed during a meeting with Liberty Media, the FIA and the teams. It only concerns the races on the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone. The qualifications for the other Grands Prix of the Formula 1 calendar will be done in the same way as always in Formula 1.
The planning is still that both in Austria and Great Britain two weekends will be organized, but on each circuit the concept will be tested once. This makes it relatively easy for Formula 1 to compare the two races and makes it easier to obtain useful data to answer the question whether the format should be considered for the future.
So the idea is that the drivers in the fastest cars will be able to drive as far forward as possible in a short sprint race in order to get a good starting position for the race. No World Championship points can be obtained in this sprint race, the result only determines the starting position for the next day.
Unanimous support required
According to The Race, the FIA likes the idea, but to make such a change requires the unanimous support of all ten teams. The race stables have not yet voted formally, but for the time being only one formation does not seem to be in favour of the concept. All Formula 1 teams would in any case have indicated to use the coming week to get a better understanding of what it means to them.
The vote on this should take place as soon as possible, because if the idea is approved, the FIA would have to write out new rules in detail. The FIA does not want to do that in advance without all teams having approved the idea. It is possible that there will be an official vote next week.