FIA approves radical Formula E qualifying format shake-up

The FIA has approved the new Formula E qualifying format that will be introduced for the 2022 season and pitch the fastest drivers in head-to-head 'duels' to decide pole position.

FIA approves radical Formula E qualifying format shake-up

This new system will initially divide the 22-car grid – down by two cars following Audi's exit, while Andretti Autosport remains without the support of BMW – into two groups of 11 which, from the second race onwards, will be based on the drivers' championship table.

Both groups will have a 10-minute session to post a flying lap, with no limits in place regarding the number of laps one driver can set in this time frame.

These will be conducted with 220kW power, equivalent to 295bhp.

The four drivers who set the fastest time in each group will then progress into two-way 'duels' in a football tournament-style knockout basis.

Then increased to 250kw, 335bhp, drivers will be eliminated via quarter-final and semi-final heats to leave a two-car battle for pole position.

The fastest driver will land first place in the grid, second for the runner-up, third and fourth will go to the slower drivers in the semi-final, while the quarter-final standings will decide positions fifth through to eighth.

The rest of the starting order will be defined by the best times set by those who failed to initially progress through one of the groups of 11.

Lucas di Grassi Audi Formula E Berlin

Lucas di Grassi Audi Formula E Berlin

In the statement released followed the 15 October meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council: "Drivers who participated in the group of the winning driver of the final duel (positions five to 12) will be classified in the odd positions.

"Drivers of the other group (positions five to 12) will be classified in the even positions."

This major modification to the outgoing qualifying system, which divided the field into four groups of six drivers, drew increasing criticism from drivers and teams due to sending the championship leaders out first and onto track that had not been rubbered in and was at its slowest.

This frequently landed the 'bigger names' towards the rear of the grid but due to the increased competition in the field, with 18 cars often able to lap within 1s, they struggled to progress up the order.

As Formula E bosses bid for the championship to grow its audience, it was increasingly felt that the mass unpredictability and quantity of different race winners each season was hurting the series' profile.

It is hoped that some move towards restoring a competitive meritocracy will allow repeat winners who will feature more regularly in the media and that added familiarity will engage a bigger audience.

The FIA statement recognised this, adding: "A new qualifying format divided into groups and followed by head-to-head duels has been approved to maximize excitement for fans and encourage the emergence of the best drivers and teams."

shares
comments

Related video

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive
Previous article

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

Next article

Cape Town round dropped from Formula E calendar, Jakarta in

Cape Town round dropped from Formula E calendar, Jakarta in
Load comments
Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides Prime

Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides

Maserati will make a full-factory return to racing, joining the Formula E grid in 2023 with a view to electrifying its road car portfolio. In that regard it makes sense for Maserati - but it's also a win for the series as it seeks to rebound from losing three of its heavyweight German giants in the space of a few months

Formula E
Jan 11, 2022
The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series Prime

The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series

As Formula E prepares to enter its new Gen3 era, many have pondered the prospect of its existing machines continuing in a feeder category. But before such a programme could be embarked on, there are several important questions that must be satisfactorily answered.

Formula E
Jan 4, 2022
De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Prime

De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E
Dec 7, 2021
Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Prime

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-22 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021