The BRDC British F3 Championship has revealed a change in the rules to the way they run their reverse grid event. While prior to 2018 they would only reverse the top eight, now all finishers within 103% of the fastest lap time will be reversed with fewer points for winning from pole.
To add to this, the championship will also award one point for every position gained in race two. This ensures that overtaking will once again be encouraged and will secure the second race as the most pivotal of the weekend.
Last year, race two winners received 25 points, while this year, it reduces to 20, with the addition of how many places a driver has gained. This means it is now potentially more beneficial for drivers with mechanical issues to retire early in race one and get a better position for race two rather than make the chequered flag, though all top-20 finishers will still receive points.
The new style promotes overtaking and in the build up to the season also encourages more drivers to enter, with large fields offering more chances at points. It does however, open the possibility of team orders later in the season, with many retirements reducing some front-runners chances at scoring points.
MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer commented: “MSV has a history of being innovative to maximise the appeal of motorsport, and with the full reverse grid system, coupled with a carefully derived points system, the BRDC British F3 Championship will produce some captivating racing for drivers, teams and fans to enjoy whilst adding to the learning value for drivers by giving them far more opportunities to overtake and reward them when they do.”
Grid for race three will continue to be set on the drivers best lap from either of the first two races.
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*Results are examples
As you can see, drivers who struggle to retain the lap times of the fastest driver (#6) will be punished in race two’s grid, though if they were off the pace for purely mechanical reasons, they could benefit in the second race.
Meanwhile front-running drivers who crashed in race one, will be given the reward for making it back to the front, as seen with the (#1) who achieved an extra four points. As for (#7), a reverse pole will be easier to obtain, but will force slower drivers to develop defensive techniques in order to maintain position.
In reality, the 103% rule will likely only be an issue on longer circuits, such as Spa-Francorchamps or Silverstone.