While Formula 1 stakeholders look to tinker with the sport’s format in an effort to improve the show, there is growing dissent among fans and pundits who are wary of such plans.
Among proposals being considered for experimentation next year, are a qualifying race with reverse order grid to decide the starting positions for race day. Ideas which have divided, ane even shocked, the paddock.
So much so that F1’s suggested sprint race qualifying format risks turning the sport into “a game” according to 1997 F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, but it comes at the same time as Max Verstappen likened the reverse-grid Saturday race idea as akin to “American wrestling”.
Villeneuve told Championat, “It’s fun, but it’s not Formula 1, it’s not a race. This will turn a professional sport into a game. If they want it, ok, but there will be almost no sport in it.
“I do not think changes should be made to make the show more fun on TV. Racing should remain a sport. There are some unshakeable foundations that should not be changed.”
In fact, Villeneuve is not sure why Liberty Media wants to make such a drastic change, “The racing has never been so good. Everyone constantly looks back at the fifties, sixties, seventies, and the Senna and Prost era, and they say that it was great then.
“But Senna and Prost lapped everybody, there was no overtaking – was it that great? Or is it that in our era we need something new every five seconds? What I do know is that if we move F1 in this direction, we will destroy it,” warned the Canadian.
Big Question: Can tinkering with the format of Grand Prix weekends destroy the sport?