Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2020

Racing tracks in reverse is a “very, very cool” idea – Leclerc

2020 F1 season

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Charles Leclerc is very keen on the idea of racing Formula 1 circuits in reverse, which he says would force drivers to completely re-learn the circuits.

Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle said earlier this month he was open to the idea of holding a reverse-track race if needed in order to run more than one F1 round at the circuit this year.

Speaking in a press conference on Wednesday, Leclerc mentioned he had heard about the suggestion. “I’ve seen something about doing races the other way around,” he said. “That will be very, very cool, that will be good. I think we’ll all rediscover the track and it will probably be very different also car-wise. So this will be an interesting idea.”

Leclerc said he had some experience of driving tracks in reverse from his karting days.

“I think we’ll definitely have to re-learn the track completely from from scratch,” he said. “I’ve done this in karting too, to do one track in one way and then do it the other way. And from my experience, you are just rediscovering another track and it’s definitely like you will race on a new track. So it will make things exciting because the drivers with experience maybe will have a bit less knowledge about this track and everyone will start on a more par level.”

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However he doubts the change would affect the competitive order in F1.

F1 2019 screenshot: Abbey reverse
Why a reverse race around Silverstone isn’t realistic
“It will not change things significantly,” he said. “I’m pretty sure Lewis [Hamilton] will still be the favourite.

“But I think it will be very exciting to do a track like Silverstone the other way around, to arrive so quick in Becketts. I think it will be very exciting.”

While there are major practical obstacles to reversing the direction of circuits, the possibility F1 could race more than once at the same circuit remains. Leclerc said this could give some teams an advantage, but it should still be considered in order to increase the number of races F1 can hold this year.

“I think you can always argue the fairness” he said. “But at the end we mostly need to look at the situation and try to make the most out of the situation.

“If this will make us race on the same time on the same circuit, twice on the same track, I think we should look closely at this possibility to try and give the answer of the most races possible.”

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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...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 10 comments on “Racing tracks in reverse is a “very, very cool” idea – Leclerc”

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      24th April 2020, 8:07

      I love this idea too.
      For sure there are loads of obstacles, but none that can’t be overcome. Indulge me for a moment and imagine a circuit like Silverstone was able to do this. We could have the normal race on Sunday and a reverse race on Wednesday evening. Corona virus allowing that would be double ticket sales for Silverstone and two races in 4 days!

      1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk Yes, effectively they are impossible to overcome. There just isn’t enough room to create larger run-offs at many places due to grandstands, service-roads, and other physical objects, and sometimes due to competing for the same piece of run-off with a different part of a track, for example, Aintree and the Maggots-Becketts complex. People should’ve put this matter to bed by now. I find it somewhat funny that this still hasn’t happened, LOL.

        1. Why not just reverse the grid. Far easier!

        2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          27th April 2020, 7:43

          Silverstone is already moving some granstands for the new area layout so there is capacity to do this. Don’t underestimate them. As for Aintree and the Maggots-Becketts complex, the farm, bridge priory section could be used instead. LOL its funny the people who are so short sighted they’ve put this to bed!

      2. And if they cover the track we can have two more race with the cars ‘uʍop ǝpᴉsdn’.
        We could finally check if this is a fact or myth ;)

        1. race with the cars ‘uʍop ǝpᴉsdn’.

          @coldfly – that’s called the Australian GP.

    2. But impracticable due to the insufficiency of the run-off areas for the approach-speeds from the opposite direction as has been pointed out before, hence, pointless to keep on pondering this matter. The run-off areas are (generally) designed with only the needs of one running-direction in mind, not both, and this is the case with every current F1-circuit. BTW, why do people rarely use the conditional form of the word ‘will’ when talking or writing about something that isn’t guaranteed to happen? One of those things I struggle to comprehend, LOL.

      1. I agree with all the above.

        Regarding the usage of will/would, I guess it’s because English is a second language hence some of those “details” are lost in translation.

    3. Can we take a moment to appreciate how positiv Charles is about everything?

      Whereas other drivers repeatedly mention that they “have no oppinion”, “trust the FIA” or “are not interested in that kind of thing”, Leclerc is actively taking part in the so-called terrible F1 game while having fun and giving something to the bored fans, he sees the positive side of racing in reverse instead of generally just bashing the idea without even thinking about it.

      This guy is awesome and I’m becoming a fan.

    Comments are closed.