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F1: Ferrari BACKS reverse grids after Lewis Hamilton's exciting charge from last place to fifth

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‘It’s not even debateable’: Ferrari BACKS reverse grids for F1 sprint races after Lewis Hamilton’s exciting charge from last place to claim fifth ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix on Saturday

  • Sao Paulo Grand Prix featured an exciting sprint race which replaced qualifying
  • The race was a proxy reverse grid for Lewis Hamilton who started from the back
  • Hamilton had qualified on pole before being disqualified from Friday’s session
  • But the spotlight was on the Brit who entertained with a charge through to fifth
  •  It ignited more talks of possible reverse grids which were discussed in 2020
  • Ferrari are all in favour of them after Saturday’s drama at Interlagos in Brazil 


Ferrari have thrown their full support behind the idea of reverse grids for sprint races that have replaced qualifying sessions at certain grands prix this season. 

Sprint races have been trialed for the first time in 2021 at the British, Italian and Sao Paulo events as a way of replacing the traditional qualifying format to decide the starting order for Sunday’s grand prix.

The start order for the actual sprint races has been decided by a qualifying session on Friday, with debates over whether the Saturday race should be run in a reverse grid format binned last season.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has backed calls for reverse grids in F1 sprint races

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has backed calls for reverse grids in F1 sprint races

Until the weekend the concept looked dead in the water, after previous proposals to bring them in for 2021.

But with Lewis Hamilton having found himself at the back of the grid after a controversial disqualification from Friday qualifying at Interlagos in relation to a technical infringement, the Brit put in a thrilling and entertaining performance to carve his way from last to fifth in a proxy reverse grid scenario.

With the Brazil sprint race arguably proving the most exciting of the three this term, Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto now believes there is no longer a debate over whether reverse grids should he be used for future sprint races instead of a traditional qualifying format, when quizzed on whether Saturday’s drama strengthened the case for them.  

‘I think it does honestly, because of so many overtakings, and so much fun,’ he told motorsport.com.

Binotto's call comes after Lewis Hamilton charged from last to fifth at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix

Binotto’s call comes after Lewis Hamilton charged from last to fifth at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix

The Brit provided all of the entertainment on Saturday prompting calls of reverse grid races

The Brit provided all of the entertainment on Saturday prompting calls of reverse grid races

‘I think we should really consider it, and that’s obviously for the sprint race format. Having seen what happens, I think it’s even not debatable.’

F1 chiefs will hold talks with teams during the winter over a format for next season’s sprint races – with another six set to be contested in 2022.

While Interlagos’s running proved to be eventful it was only down to Hamilton’s charge through the field.

The three sprint races that have been trialed this term have all featured a qualifying session

The three sprint races that have been trialed this term have all featured a qualifying session

Races at Silverstone and Monza provided little action and a key consideration is to how to make them more exciting for next term.

Not all teams have agreed with Ferrari’s approach, while F1 believe offering more championship points could hold more incentive for drivers to take risks with more aggressive driving rather than passively following a rival.

Hamilton has in the past been critical of the idea, claiming the concept was dreamed up by people who ‘did not know what they were talking about’ last year.

Former Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel went a step further brandishing the idea as complete bull****.’

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