Lewis Hamilton backtracks on accusation

Lewis Hamilton is "in favour" of Sprint races starting with a reversed grid.

Lewis Hamilton’s stance on reverse grid races being introduced has changed drastically, after he accused those suggesting it back in 2019 as not knowing “what they’re talking about”.

With the Sprint format set to be tweaked for 2024, several suggestions have been made as to what could make the 100km race more entertaining.

One suggestion liked by many on social media is making the Sprint race reverse grid, a feature Hamilton was hugely against for the main races four years ago.

“The people who have proposed it don’t really know what they’re talking about,” Hamilton said in 2019, as per the Independent.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

However, Hamilton is now “in favour” of at least the Sprint races becoming reverse grid, as he notes that his most enjoyable Sprint race to-date is when he started in last at the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix Sprint.

Hamilton made up 15 places on that day in Sao Paulo, in what was arguably the most exciting Sprint race to have taken place since they were introduced in 2021.

The seven-time World Champion admits that at the moment Saturdays aren’t the most enjoyable but he does like qualifying taking place on a Friday straight after Free Practice 1.

In regard to making the Sprint race reverse grid, though, he admits that if it were introduced then “everyone will just try and qualify last”.

Article continues below

“Saturday is not the greatest of days but I like the single practice session straight into qualifying,” Hamilton said.

“I think we can learn. I love that we do have a different format rather than just the same three practice sessions and then the qualifying and the race.

“The best sprint race I ever had was when I started last [in 2021 in Brazil] and so I’m in favour of the reverse order, except if we had that then everyone will just try and qualify last!”

READ: Sergio Perez warns F1 bosses as discontent grows

Based on reports, the most discussed tweak to the Sprint weekend for 2024 is that qualifying for the main race will return to being on a Saturday afternoon.

As a result, Sprint qualifying is expected to be moved to the Friday evening, with the Sprint race then taking place on the Saturday morning.

An announcement as to what the Sprint format will look like in 2024 is expected to be made in January, when the F1 Commission will next meet.