The FIA has approved the new Formula E qualifying format that will be introduced for the 2022 season, with Groups and head-to-head knockout Duels incoming for Season 8.
Qualifying will feature a first round of two groups with each driver able to attempt setting the fastest laps within their time. The drivers that set the top four lap times in each group will progress into head-to-head Duels, on a knockout basis in quarter-finals and semi-finals. The winning driver of the final duel takes Julius Baer Pole Position, while the runner-up lines up second. The semi-finalists will line up third and fourth, the quarter-finalists between fifth and eighth – according to their lap times.
The fifth to 12th-placed drivers who competed in the polesitter’s group will fill the odd positions on the grid. The corresponding drivers from the other group will be classified in the even grid slots. So, if the polesitter comes from Group 1, the fifth-placed driver in Group 1 will line up ninth on the starting grid and the fifth-placed driver in Group 2 takes 10th and so on.
The changes were made after the previous system was highly criticised last season. Previously, four groups of six drivers were formed based on their point standings. Drivers with the most points were more likely to be in the first qualifying group – when the track was the most unused. As we know, track conditions improve across a session, and indeed in most races, drivers from early qualifying groups started towards the back of the grid. Drivers felt the system was unfair as being placed in an early qualifying group put them at a disadvantage. Last season, we saw 11 drivers win across the 15 rounds, with only Sam Bird, Lucas di Grassi, Nyck de Vries and Jake Dennis taking two wins.
In addition to the qualifying format changes, the FIA also confirmed that the energy reduction rule will be replaced. Instead, up to 10 minutes of race time can be added in case of a Safety Car or Full Course Yellow neutralisations during the standard 45-minute plus one lap race. For every 60 seconds of neutralisation during a race, an additional 45 seconds will be added to the race time.
Jamie Reigle, Chief Executive Officer, Formula E, said:
“With more races in more global iconic cities than ever before the season ahead is set to be our largest to date as we rebound from the impacts of COVID-19 over the last two seasons. Combined, the revised calendar and new regulations will mean that Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is expected to be the best yet for our teams, drivers and fans.”
Headline Image Credit: Formula E
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