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Ricciardo: Timing's wrong for "desperate" reverse-grid plan

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Ricciardo: Timing's wrong for "desperate" reverse-grid plan
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Sep 27, 2019, 8:28 AM

Daniel Ricciardo says Formula 1 would have to be "desperate" to consider reverse-grid races, which he feels would "dilute the product".

F1 is understood to be keen on trialling a revised weekend format at select grands prix in 2020 that would include qualifying races with grids set in reverse championship order.

But the proposal has been met with strong opposition from drivers, and championship leader Lewis Hamilton said that F1 entertaining such experiments at this time was not congruent with its impending 2021 rules overhaul.

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When asked by Motorsport.com whether he shared Hamilton's disapproval over the timing of the proposal, Ricciardo said:  "I don't think it's the right time. I don't think it's great. I think if 2021 [delivers] what it should, then there's no reason to change anything of the format.

"And I think as well it would then dilute a lot of the weekend. It's like some other sports I follow, the product becomes diluted if you then have reverse-grid races, this and that.

"2021, I think that's enough changing. I think that [suggestion] is a bit desperate, and I don't think we're in a desperate time at all.

"As I said, there's some [sports] - like, I love the UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship], the mixed martial arts and all that, and it got to a point where they were having fights on every weekend, and it's great for fans, you get to see a fight all the time, but you become less excited, less interested, because it's always in front of you.

"So I think like that with the races, if there's always a race on, and if they're reversed-grid and then kind of manipulating a little bit the result, I think it loses some of its value and some of its core.

"So, yeah, I prefer to keep at least that part for now tradition."

Having become the latest driver to come out against reversed grids, Ricciardo stressed that the driver opposition was not part of any coordinated push agreed among members of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.

He said, however, that F1 drivers were unhappy to be left in the dark over such major developments.

"That's something which us as drivers are sometimes pretty frustrated about," he said. "Things will get put in front of us [by the media] - 'they [the rulemakers] are talking about this, they're actually fairly deep into this discussion' - and we're like, well, why haven't we been told about this?

"That's why we've been trying to put in more of a team effort, the last few years, to make sure we are involved a lot more. Because over the years some things have been decided without addressing us drivers - and, you know, whether we're paying the bills or not, we are the core of the whole show.

"Especially if it's something that we feel strongly on, then I think our opinion is more valuable than really anyone else's. I think we're making progress, but they don't always like to involve us - in the past they haven't."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo Shop Now
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy