Ricciardo flatly rejects F1 proposal
DANIEL Ricciardo has rejected the idea of reverse grid races, saying it's an unnecessary change F1 doesn't need.
The Aussie driver, who will end his two-year stint with Renault at the end of this season and join McLaren in 2021, said overhauling a race weekend so significantly could make things "messy".
Two circuits, Silverstone in the UK and the Red Bull Ring in Austria, will host more than one race this season after the campaign was thrown into disarray by coronavirus. It had been floated the second grand prix at those tracks could feature a 30-minute sprint race, with drivers lining up on the grid in the reverse order to where they sit in the championship.
It's not something Ricciardo is keen on.
"I'm not always old-school, but I guess it's not really the first on our priority list of things to change in the sport," Ricciardo said in an Instagram Live chat on F1's official account this week.
"I can see how some fans would be like, 'Yeah, it would be great to have the fast guys trying to come through the field' and all of that. I see that point of view.
"There are a lot of scenarios where it wouldn't work, and it would make things a little messy.
"I can see why from a couch potato, as I am right now, it could be exciting.
"But I think from a purist and a real racing point of view, I don't think we need to go there just yet. That's the best way to say it."
Ricciardo's former boss, Red Bull chief Christian Horner, suggested this season was the perfect time to try new things but claimed Mercedes shut down the concept out of concern it would hurt Lewis Hamilton's push for a seventh world championship.
Silver Arrows chief Toto Wolff said his team opposed the initiative "for some good reasons", denying it was motivated purely by a desire to protect Hamilton.
"Midfield cars will fight heavy for position, as they should, so for the top teams coming from behind it will mean more risks in overtaking and that could mean making this championship a bit of a lottery," Wolff told Sky Sports.
"The number two reason is that we simply love the meritocracy if Formula 1. Best man, and best machine wins. I think a lot of fans have expressed that same view. We are real racers, we think Formula 1 doesn't need a show format like wrestling and the DNA is important."
Meanwhile, McLaren's Lando Norris said he wasn't surprised Ricciardo agreed to join the team in 2021 after a disappointing debut campaign with Renault last season.
Norris also predicted the Aussie's arrival and the experience he'll bring with him would provide a boost for the team, which finished fourth in last year's constructors' championship.
"I don't think the Ricciardo thing was as much of a surprise, because obviously I knew that McLaren wanted him back before the 2019 season, so I knew he was on the radar," Norris said.
"After McLaren did better than Renault last year, maybe it would have changed his mind of what he did.
"Daniel's obviously just got that bit more experience with working with those top teams and knowing what's exactly needed to win races.
"So his mentality of that side of things is something that's going to be different from what Carlos (Sainz) had, I think.
"Learning from him on that side of things I think is the most valuable part.
"He can also bring a lot to the team and obviously help the team improve as well. I guess we'll find out next year."