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Formula E Misano ePrix II

Wehrlein questions value of qualifying for "weird" peloton-style Formula E racing

Formula E drivers have criticised the style of racing that was on offer in the Misano E-Prix, with Pascal Wehrlein suggesting that qualifying may as well be decided by lottery.

Sebastien Buemi, Envision Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6, Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3, Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6, the remainder of the field

The inaugural Formula E race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli was expected to be a chaotic affair, as the long straights and high-speed corners meant drivers would look to slip back into the pack and save energy in the slipstream.

It proved to be the case as no fewer than eight drivers led at some point during the 28-lap race, with 19 overall changes for the lead.

Wehrlein entered the event as the championship leader but crossed the line 17th after the Porsche driver was forced to pit for a new front wing following contact with Jean-Eric Vergne.

Team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa claimed victory having started 14th as reigning champion Jake Dennis finished third from 17th on the grid, leading Wehrlein to suggest qualifying is a pointless exercise.

“I think the pace is there, we knew that, but this kind of racing is a bit weird,” said the German.

“It’s like we don’t need to do the qualifying anymore with those kind of races.

“The thing is our energy targets are just way too low in the beginning.

“I don’t know if it’s exciting or not, I need to rewatch the race to learn more about it.

Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

“But from my perspective it’s just, I’d rather take a lottery for the race start positions because it doesn’t make a difference.

“I think the overall thing is we are racers and we want to drive as fast as possible.”

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Wehrlein was not the only driver to criticise the style of racing which was last seen on this level during the Portland E-Prix last year.

Oliver Rowland, who finished second and with it claimed the lead in the championship standings, missed the American event but suggested that the opening portion of proceedings in Italy was “not really racing”.

"I think positioning yourself, being in the right place, staying out of trouble, for us as drivers is actually really interesting and I guess for the spectators,” said the Nissan driver.

“Maybe it’s just the first 10 laps are a bit too much, but let’s see tomorrow with [two] less laps if it’s a little bit less like that.”

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