Sunday race: reverse grid vs. qualifying

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?

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7 Responses to Sunday race: reverse grid vs. qualifying

  1. Andy says:

    The 100% reverse grid works surprisingly well in Superleague Formula, but it benefits from considerable more equality in the set-up of its series car between the drivers, and also it seems to be easier to overtake there.

    I don’t like the two British F3 gimmicks introduced this year – the race one winner draws a number to decide how much of the grid is reversed for the second race, while the third race is decided by the second-best qualifying times for each driver. One seems a bit silly, the other contrived.

    Of the options you put up there, the fastest lap one sounds best – provided something could be done to stop cars that end up in the pits with mechanical problems being sent out again, a dozen laps down, in qualifying trim to screw things up for everyone else.

    Other than that it’s got to be two sessions if the time can be scavenged. But in that case, it all seems a bit ‘samey’ second time round.

    How about race one qualifying is done via the current system and race two via a single flying lap system like the one abandoned by F1 a few years back? That should produce different grids at the same time as testing a useful skill.

  2. Fletcher says:

    I too never have been a fan of reverse greed and I like the idea of having his second fastest time on qualifying to be his grid position for the second race if time is limited otherwise two seperate sessions is better.

  3. Fujer says:

    Maybe split the 30 min session in half and first 15 min for race 1 and second 15 min for race 2?

  4. gabal says:

    I quite like the idea of fastest lap order to determine grid for sprint race.

  5. gp2 insider says:

    Finding more time from F1 is probably not very realistic, and a 15 minute session is probably too short for a 24-car grid. I like the idea of the second fastest time… not the best but definitely more fair than the reverse grid setup.

  6. spudy says:

    I like it how it is, to score points and win the GP2 title the champion is forced to work hard in race 2 to work his way up into points. Plus you get more entertainment as the quicker guys have to come through the field. Also you do see some good fights for 8th on a Saturday as its a good place to finish. The value is less yes, but it’s still important as a potential champion needs to score in both races. It teaches them race craft and overtaking as well.

  7. Miguel says:

    As much as I like the reversed grid from an entertainment standpoint, it indeed gives less meaning to a win in race 2. The best and most easy solution would be ofcourse to use the fastest race laps of race 1. That way a driver who has completed all but one lap, might still be rewarded for a great race, instead of being relegated to the back of the field. I never thought that was fair.
    Another solution would be to use the second fastest time in qualifying to set the race 2 grid. To be done with both grids in the same qualifying. Puts some more pressure on the drivers in qualifying too that way.

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