Sunday race: reverse grid vs. qualifying
June 2, 2010 7 Comments
If you ask any F1 team manager, agent or other relevant figure in the racing world, many will coincide that the Sunday race in GP2 has significantly less “value” than a Saturday win. Apart from the different points payout, attributed to the shorter length of the race, the guys at the top of the grid on Sunday have gotten there via a different path than those the day before.
This is due to the fact that drivers actually qualify for the race and that the race itself is demanding due to its length and the existence of an obligatory pitstop.
Now, drivers that win on Sunday have to race, fight and win and no one contests that. The issue is, should GP2 raise the value of the Sunday win, mainly by including a second qualifying session? The WSR championship has done so this year, and there is now no asterisk placed on the winner of the second race.
The reality for GP2 is different due to the time constraints of a full F1 weekend, even more so this year with the inclusion of the GP3 Series. The schedule is tight as it is, so a different solution would need to be applied.
The alternatives could be:
1. Do nothing and keep the top-8 reverse grid for Sunday
2. Expand the reverse grid to more spots… why 8 and not 10?
3. Start the Sunday race based on the fastest lap times from Saturday, giving drivers an incentive to push hard until the end
4. Repeat the Saturday starting grid on Sunday, regardless of where they finished the race
5. “Negotiate” a longer qualifying session from F1 on Friday, and split the session into 2 half-hour sessions on Friday – one for each race, with maybe the second session a bit shorter and including only the top 10 or top 12 from the first session… a type of “Q3” session for the Sunday grid
Though not a huge issue, I have never been a big fan of the reverse grid. What do you think?