Christian Horner, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Double header races are a ‘WWF gimmick’ – Horner

2017 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Formula One’s traditional race weekend format should be preserved, says Christian Horner.

The Red Bull team principal rejected calls for F1 to introduce a double-header race weekend format including a reverse grid race which offers fewer points than the main event.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017
Chinese GP build-up in pictures
“I hate that idea,” he told Sky. “I think the grand prix is the big event on a Sunday afternoon. Anything gimmicky around that is just WWF [WWE], to be honest with you.”

“Let’s create great content and have great racing on a Sunday afternoon. Get the drivers racing wheel-to-wheel, let them be the heroes and then we don’t need gimmicks like Sunday reverse grids. We’ve got GP2 [Formula Two] for that.”

Yesterday Sebastian Vettel also urged F1 to stick with its current race format. Lewis Hamilton has repeatedly called for changes to the grand prix weekend.

But Horner said teams would “end up playing percentage games” if the weekend format involved using the results from one race to set the starting grid for another.

“We’d have all these people running algorithms for where you need to finish on a Saturday, percentage points on a Sunday. And I think you’d detract from qualifying.”

“Qualifying is you bolt that last set of tyres on and you go for it, you want to see what they can do over a single lap.”

“I think qualifying can be really exciting,” he added. “Man and machine, the ultimate lap time, there’s things that we can do to improve that, hopefully. That is a spectacle in itself and the race is the next discipline.”

Jan Lammers, BMW Procar, Red Bull Ring, 2016
Horner wants Procar-style one-make races
However Horner agreed the sport could make better use of the drivers’ availability during race weekends.

“I’d love to see the drivers more active over a grand prix weekend. Years ago there was the Procar series, we’d see them driving in a different discipline. Why not get them involved in something like that in a one-make formula?”

“Porsche Supercup: Why not stick the drivers all in that? If you moved it around you could have Aston Martin one weekend, have them all in Ferraris the next, all in Hondas the next. Or find a manufacturer that’s acceptable (to all the teams).”

“I think something like that, something to see the drivers’ skill, their personality. They’re pretty quiet over a grand prix weekend, the sessions used to be longer, there used to be Sunday morning warm-ups. They used to be a lot more active. They have time on their hands now.”

2017 F1 season

Browse all 2017 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2017 Chinese Grand Prix, 2017 F1 season

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 18 comments on “Double header races are a ‘WWF gimmick’ – Horner”

    1. What do double header races have to do with the Panda charity?

      1. @david-a Amusingly its current name – World Wrestling Entertainment – makes Horner’s point for him.

    2. I feel like one make races arent gonna matter if they aint fighting for something. We wont see a true test of the drivers skills if they just fool around in porsches 14 laps.

      1. Isaac J Rosenthal
        7th April 2017, 6:46

        You think they got were they are, if it wasn’t about being first at all times.
        Way too much ego, to not make that “one make race” stick as well.
        Plus the media pressure.

        Excellent idea!!!

        1. Yes i do. Noone is gonna prepare for these races and noone is gonna care if they get shunted out of the race.
          Rosberg got WDC last year without caring about being first at all times.

          1. Rubbish…of course Nico cared about winning every race. He prepared at all times with winning in mind. Sure it became prudent at times for him to just keep it clean and not risk anything, but he prepped for every race to go for the win.

      2. Mark Zastrow
        7th April 2017, 7:09

        A one-make race won’t “matter”, but at least we might get to see some action and the driver’s personalities come out a bit in a “fun race”. To be honest, I watched the Mexico e-race, which had about half the grid, and I quite enjoyed it—seeing which drivers couldn’t adapt to sim racing, which ones treated it seriously, which ones just went around as if it were a Gran Turismo lobby race and clobbered their opponents. Put the F1 drivers in a grid of reasonably-priced cars or a drift contest and I’d watch for sure.

        The reason it’ll never, I suspect, is of course injury liability. After what happened to Wehrlein in the off-season, what team in their right mind will let their driver compete in an extra-curricular race during the season?

    3. The fact that Horner still think it’s ‘WWF’ 16 years after that organisation changed their name to ‘WWE’ does nothing to help the perception that the sport is chronically behind the times in a lot of ways.

      1. Lewisham Milton
        7th April 2017, 9:20

        That’s unfair. He said “GP2” – he’s only one year behind the times.

      2. I don’t think that has anything to do with it. I have a few friends who were huge, huge fans of the WWF. I doubt any one of them knows about the name change since they stopped caring about it once they were older than 12.

        1. @dh1996
          Damn, that made me chuckle! I was only vaguely aware of the name change thanks to John Cena memes, can’t blame Horner (although GP2 was a bit of a miss).

    4. invisiblekid
      7th April 2017, 8:20

      Uh God, talk about teams still wanting to hold onto the same old formula and wanting to veto any changes. We are at such an early stage of thinking up ways to make F1 something you dont want to miss, and here we have Mr Ginger Spice wanting to be Mr Baby Spice throwing out his dummy over an idea before the worlds press.

      If Brawn suggested drivers compete in other races over the weekend I can bet you could copy and paste Horners thoughts into his reply.

      Just when I started to not hate RB he does this. I’m not saying double headers or reverse grids are the answer, but to cry like this in front of the press is just inflating (some of) F1’s fingers, fingers-in-ears-la-la-la-not-listening attitude

    5. And yet the WWE is breaking attendance and viewing figures, growing bigger by the minute, signing talent from around the world. Have and award winning network where EVERY MATCH is instantly available. While in the pathetic world of F1 most of the fans cannot see the thing because it’s locked behind a paywall and priced out of reach. The master plan is to make inaccessible with no free to air. F1, a great sport to listen to on the radio in the world of the internet. I’ll take the WWE over F1 any day of the week, bring on the gimmicks. At least the fans are entertained and can see it.

      1. So go away then, this is a website about F1 not WWE.

        1. Whilst you are right this is a F1 website, his points are valid, WWE markets itself much better, and gets content to the consumer much more quickly, and for a decent price, with the ability to watch past events, and historic events, and other programming.

          Whilst you might not enjoy or like the WWE, they know what they’re doing in regards to making and keeping fans hooked.

    6. Essentially this is it. Stick them in a few single makes after quali, after practice.

      Be it Procar, Porsche car or Anycar… Drivers should be allowed to show their skill over a weekend, many times.

    7. LOL. Yes. What an great headline. Excellent. Totally agree with what he’s saying.

    Comments are closed.