Stefano Domenicali discusses reverse grids and points in more sessions

Stefano Domenicali

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says that the sport should not simply discard the idea of reverse grids and points in more sessions other than the race.

Domenicali is at the helm of a sport that has enjoyed one of the biggest surges in popularity seen by any major championship in recent years.

Formula 1, though always a big deal, has become one of the most talked about sports in recent years, with things like Drive to Survive bringing a new audience to the table.

There’s been a huge growth in attendance figures at races, too, with nearly every Grand Prix this season having sell-out weekends and, clearly, there is a lot going right with the sport at the moment in terms of viewership and audience.

Despite some detractions that come up now and again, the sport as a product is overall in a generally healthy place, but that does not mean that Domenicali wants to rest on his laurels in trying to up the entertainment factor.

Speaking to Corriere della Sera, he revealed he’d still be open to implementing reverse grids and championship points for sessions that are not the Grand Prix:

“You have to try [different things,]” he said.

“There are always many excuses not to do it, it is a life principle.

“Purists will always turn up their noses up, but over the years F1 has changed the way of qualifying dozens of times. It is something that cannot be postponed, to ensure we have even more of a show.

“I would like there to always be a fight for something that counts for the title. We will address this issue in the next F1 Commission – the fans, the organisers, everyone wants that. The sprint was just the first example, which can be improved.

“Each session there should be points up for grabs or single qualifying laps or qualifying for a Saturday race, different and shorter, instead of the third free practice, maybe with the reversed grid mechanism.

Stefano Domenicali
MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 09: Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, walks in the Paddock prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 09, 2022 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“We are putting a lot of things on the table. Many say no, but we have seen on some occasions the beauty of having reshuffled grids in the race, [there is] more overtaking. We have an obligation to try.”

Certainly, there is always room for new ideas in F1 but reverse grids and points for things like free practice might be suggestions that aren’t welcomed massively by the teams or many of the fans.

It’s a balancing act that the sport needs to perform between innovation and keeping tradition, and hopefully any new features of a race weekend will only add to the sporting side.

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