This week will be key to the short-term future of Formula E. At the World Motor Sport Council, the electric series could officially announce the change of qualifying format, which has been highly questioned by drivers and teams involved with the championship.
Since 2018-19 season, a group system has been used, which paradoxically penalizes the best-placed racers. Drivers are divided into groups of six, in descending order on the leaderboard, leaving as a result that leaders have the worst track conditions and often finish near the back of the grid.
Certainly the qualifying structure has been successful as it keeps the fight for the title open until the end, but the teams feel that it is too artificial and unfairly sacrifices the best.
The New Proposal
Formula E features the idea of introducing a knockout tournament-style format, which series co-founder and director Alberto Longo claims has been designed to be easier for fans to understand.
The drivers will be divided into two groups, and the four fastest drivers from each bracket will advance to the quarterfinal rounds one-on-one. The winners of these four duels will advance to two semifinals, after which the two fastest participants will fight directly for the pole.
“We have gone back to basics, although we also like to be innovative,” Longo noted. “This format is very understandable because everyone understands the draw of a tennis tournament finals. Visually, it is very attractive and on television we will offer something spectacular.”
He stressed that the key is on the first two groups of 11 drivers, where they will have the opportunity to do several fast laps during the 12-minute qualifying. After that, the fastest drivers of each segment will be defined.
Longo explained that he took the idea to the Formula E board, but revealed that the ingenuity of the new format came from Sam Bird, current Jaguar Racing driver, who served as a voice to express the discomfort of the participants about how the pole positions were disputed.
The only thing missing is the definitive yes from the World Motor Sport Council to establish the new race classification mechanism, and lay the foundations for Season 8, which will open on January 28, 2022 in Saudi Arabia.
Written by I Jhonattan González