Jaguar's Evans defends current FE qualifying format after criticism

Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans has defended ABB FIA Formula E's qualifying format after a run of complaints from rival drivers during 2018/19

Jaguar's Evans defends current FE qualifying format after criticism

FE changed its group format for the current season with first-on-the-road group one made up of the top five drivers in the championship.

Certain tracks, such as the one used in Santiago race, have had dramatic track evolution that meant drivers in the later groups had an advantage in the fight for superpole.

Drivers such as reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne have criticised the format, but Audi boss Allan McNish recently called for an end to the complaints.

Now Evans, who will begin qualifying in group one after his Rome E-Prix victory last time out, has defended FE's qualifying method.

"It's a very mixed view from all the drivers but I think it's fair," said Evans. "I know some will disagree with that.

"I was in group one in Marrakech and many times last year. Unless we do a lottery or something like that...it's never going to be perfect.

"With four groups, there's always going to be differences [in lap time] but I'm in group one this weekend and I won't whine if I'm last. OK, I might have a little one!

"What else can you do? You can't let the guys who are last in the championship go first because it's going to be an even bigger disadvantage.

"Unless we change the format and have two groups - split the field in half - I think for the moment it's the fairest it can be."

In the same pre-race press conference, Vergne added he had "mixed feelings" with the qualifying format.

He said: "As a driver, I find it completely unfair. You worked hard, you try to get yourself in the best team and you get penalised for being in front of the championship and doing your job.

"For me, I absolutely hate it.

"Then if I take a bigger perspective, I am not against it. Even if I had to vote for it [to stay in FE], I would not be against it.

"At the end of the day, we are here because of the fans, the manufacturers and it is a good thing.

"It's hard for me, it's hard for us [as drivers]. I get it.

"Fair enough if you are in group one, you are going to start far away depending on the race. In Santiago, I did the pole in my group and was 15th ahead of the guys in my group. That's part of the game."

Vergne added that he wanted to see changes that would encourage greater energy saving, following a run of flat-out races caused by the greater efficiency of the Gen2 car and disruptions such as safety cars lessening the need to conserve energy.

FE recently stated that it was looking at ways to bring more energy management into races.


shares
comments
Formula E's ghost racing game launches for Paris E-Prix

Previous article

Formula E's ghost racing game launches for Paris E-Prix

Next article

Mahindra expects Wehrlein Formula E win 'in the next few races'

Mahindra expects Wehrlein Formula E win 'in the next few races'
Load comments
Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row Plus

Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row

OPINION: With Audi's Formula E exit imminent, it had nothing to lose in London by attempting to vault Lucas di Grassi into the lead by pitting him under the safety car. Scorn directed at the team for putting glory before ethics should instead be pointed at a rulebook that allowed such a move in the first place

Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK Plus

Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK

Formula E landed for a London E-Prix for the first time since 2016, at the indoor-outdoor circuit around the ExCeL. Featuring the birth of renewed title pushes, a long-awaited maiden win and the second race's controversy, the round proved to be an exhibition of the electric series' anarchic nature

Formula E
Jul 26, 2021
Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success Plus

Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success

It's commonly upheld as the most straightforward method of racking up titles. But, due to the unique qualifying format used in Formula E, a consistent approach can actively work against a driver and make their life harder in races. So with four races to go, is now the time to ditch the tried-and-tested approach for a win-or-bust mentality?

Formula E
Jul 23, 2021
How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York Plus

How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York

After crashing in practice during the opening session at the New York City E-Prix, Sam Bird immediately had a recovery job on his hands. But the Jaguar driver rose through the order and secured victory in the second race - and with it, the championship lead. Here's how an Englishman in New York became top of the heap

Formula E
Jul 12, 2021
Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy Plus

Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy

Formula E has become famed for its unpredictability, which can yield exciting races - but it can be argued that it robs the all-electric championship of a clear narrative and doesn't adequately reward the best drivers. The series wants to change that, and renew its philosophy ahead of the introduction of its next-generation car

Formula E
Jun 29, 2021
How Puebla's high-altitude encounter gave Formula E's new leader breathing space Plus

How Puebla's high-altitude encounter gave Formula E's new leader breathing space

With the usual Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez venue unavailable to Formula E, it visited the little Puebla circuit to keep its foot in the door in Mexico. A near-winner two years ago, Pascal Wehrlein looked in swaggering form throughout the weekend - but a breathless final encounter helped put Edoardo Mortara in the driving seat

Formula E
Jun 21, 2021
The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21 Plus

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21

In an eventful Formula E season, punctuated by rain and energy-conservation controversy, the 12 teams contesting the championship have endured many challenges in the opening seven races. Here's how they've got on across the first half of the season.

Formula E
May 26, 2021
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Plus

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades

Formula E
May 12, 2021