FORMULA ONE chief Ross Brawn has opened the door to full reverse grid races after Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix epic.
Pierre Gasly took a shock maiden GP victory at Monza after a red-flag restart featuring an incredibly mixed-up grid.
With Valtteri Bottas falling back early on and Lewis Hamilton handed a stop-go penalty for entering the pit lane while closed, the championship-storming Mercedes were nowhere to be seen.
Couple that with awful days for Red Bull and Ferrari, and fans were treated to a hugely unpredictable race.
F1 managing director Brawn was left inspired by the spectacular affair to press harder for reverse grid qualifying, which would increase the chances of a repeat.
Brawn wrote in his F1 column: “Monza was a candidate for a reverse-grid sprint race when we were considering testing the format this year.
“Unfortunately, we could not move forward with it, but the concept is still something we and the FIA want to work through in the coming months and discuss with the teams for next year.
“We believe that Sunday’s race showed the excitement a mixed-up pack can deliver and with next year’s cars remaining the same as this year our fans could be treated to the similar drama we saw this weekend at Monza.
“Of course, with a reverse grid sprint race, teams will set their cars up differently.
“Right now, Mercedes set their cars up to achieve the fastest lap and then to control the race from the front. If they know they have to overtake, they will have to change that approach.
“We will continue to evaluate new formats with the aim of improving the show but always maintaining the DNA of Formula One.”
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll of Racing Point completed Sunday’s podium, each finishing inside the top three for only the second time.
Kevin Magnussen’s breakdown outside the pit entry saw the lane shut moments before Hamilton boxxed, leading to his penalty.
The Brit was forced to serve his stop-go after Charles Leclerc’s crash drew a red flag, dropping him to the back of the pack.
And yet, earning the fastest lap en route to seventh-place, Hamilton stunningly maintained his large championship lead thanks to Max Verstappen’s DNF and Bottas’ fifth place.
Hamilton was far from dissuaded by the result in Italy, taking time out to praise race winner Gasly.
He said: “I think he’s done a fantastic job and deserves the success. Hopefully that creates an opportunity for him moving forwards.
“And he also beat the team that demoted him, so it’s definitely got to hurt for them.”