A new push for reverse-grid qualifying sprint races opposed by Mercedes

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A new push from Liberty Media to trial Saturday reverse-grid qualifying sprint races is to be blocked by Mercedes.

As Formula 1 prepares for the possibility of double-headers at, at least, two circuits in 2020, F1 bosses have reportedly brought up the idea as a way of differentiating the second race weekend.

Under the proposal, which was rejected when suggested for use this year, the grid for Sunday's main Grand Prix would be decided by a sprint race on Saturday, with drivers starting in reverse championship order.

Because its introduction is not seen as urgent, all 10 teams would need the support the new format being used in a vote set to take place next week.

But that is already not going to happen after Mercedes confirmed via Autosport they would not back the motion.

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Speaking about the reverse-grid sprint race concept last year, team boss Toto Wolff explained his opposition.

"I did it because we have a responsibility in F1 to preserve the DNA," said the Austrian.

"It felt wrong, not in order to preserve an advantage because maybe it would have been good for us as Ferrari would have been behind us when you look at the current qualifying pace.

"But I voted against it because when you're looking at the 100m final in the Olympics, you're not making Usain Bolt start five metres behind just to make it an exciting finish."

According to The Race, an unofficial vote on Friday saw only one team against the format change and now we know that was the German manufacturer.