McLaren will not support the introduction of “artificial randomness” that Formula 1’s reverse-grid proposal would result in, according to team principal Andreas Seidl.

F1 has already had two attempts to replace qualifying sessions at some events with a 30-minute sprint-race in reverse championship order to determine the grid for Sunday’s main race rebuffed but is in a fresh push through the format at four rounds in 2021.

The sport’s managing director Ross Brawn in particularly keen to introduce reverse-grid races, arguing that the shock result and mixed up order of the Italian Grand Prix highlighted why the idea would work well.

But McLaren is firmly against the proposal, Seidl confirmed when addressing the media ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix at Sochi.

“From the McLaren position it’s pretty clear for us,” said Seidl.

“For us Formula 1 should be a championship, and always has been, where everyone is working within the same regulations and the best team with the best car with the best driver is in the end at the at the front in qualifying. And, if everything goes well on Sunday, also at the front and wins the race.

“This is why we are absolutely not supportive of the idea of introducing reverse grids.

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“Fair or unfair, in the end it introduces some kind of artificial randomness which from our point of view simply shouldn’t be part of F1 as I said,” Seidl added.

“For me and for us F1 has always been competition between constructors, teams, drivers, the best team and best driver should be at the front in qualifying, and the same on Sunday in the race.

“If you are not the car that runs at the front it means you need to work hard to catch up.”

For reverse-grid races to be introduced, F1 needs approval by a ‘super majority’ in the F1 Commission requiring at least 28 out of 30 votes. The plan will not go ahead if at least three teams vote against it.

Mercedes and Racing Point previously opposed the plan and McLaren’s standpoint indicates that F1 would struggle to get its reverse-grid pushed through unless at least one of these teams had a change of heart.

“We simply have to accept and also respect what Mercedes has done over the last two years in order to build up this dominance,” Seidl explained.

“They deserve to be there because they do the best job by far, better than everyone else, and it’s simply down to everyone else trying to catch up.

“Next year, I’m aware that it is kind of an interim year, probably not seeing a big change of place at the front of the grid in terms of pecking order.

“But as I’ve said some weeks ago I think with everything that comes into the game and from 2022 onwards with the budget cap, the new technical regulations I think will help to close the grid again to have more competition and I think that’s positive.

“That’s why we think it would be wrong to introduce any artificial randomness now.”

 

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