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Formula E qualifying for Monaco E-Prix of "zero" importance, says Evans

Formula E championship challenger Mitch Evans believes qualifying ahead of the Monaco E-Prix will be of “zero” importance, due to the style of racing currently on display in the category.

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing , Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

The introduction of the new-for-2023 Gen3 machines have created a different style of racing in the all-electric championship this year which has been criticised by some drivers and fans.

The less aero efficient cars mean that the slipstream is far greater than previous seasons, leading drivers to deliberately slip back in the pack in order to save further energy and not lead.

A total of 190 overtakes took place in the opening Berlin E-Prix last month, with the same frenetic style of racing expected in Monaco this weekend despite the tight nature of the circuit.

When asked how important qualifying in Monaco was, Evans - who won at the previous round in Berlin - replied: “Zero. I don’t think it’s important at all.”

“It may look a little bit different because it’s a street track compared to Berlin but as we’ve seen in the last few races, track position at the start of the race doesn’t really matter,” he added.

“Berlin I won from ninth, so I think anyone starting in the top 10 or 12 can definitely win this race.”

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

The Jaguar driver suggested that the style of racing, with drivers lifting off earlier and earlier into braking zones, made it feel “quite dangerous at times” and that “something needs to change”.

“Personally, I think it’s too much,” he said. “We go racing to try and put ourselves in the lead and lead from the front but obviously it’s become quite extreme in terms of not wanting to lead at certain phases of the race because you’re trying to get energy advantage on one another.

“It’s really changed the style of racing. It’s obviously great to see all the overtakes, I think that’s fantastic in a way, but in the car it feels quite dangerous at times. It feels like your race could end at any corner.”

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Evans' comments come in the wake of Formula E announcing a Driver of Progress award ahead of this weekend, which will be handed to the driver who makes up the most race positions over the course of the season.

“I wouldn’t really call them overtakes,” added Jean-Eric Vergne, “because when you hear some radio from engineers to drivers asking them to drop positions, not to lead the race and not to go up the road, you can’t really call that overtaking.”

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