How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem
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How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem

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Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair.

Countdown dictionary corner resident Susie Dent has an entertaining habit of capturing the mood of the moment when she tweets her ‘Word of the Day’. Amid news of the short-lived plans for the breakaway European Super League, her pick was “ingordigiousness: extreme greed; an insatiable desire for wealth at any cost”. Lexicographer Dent didn’t make reference to the final lap of the Valencia E-Prix on Saturday, but she didn’t have to. For the word many were tying to the inaugural Formula E race in Spain could be derived from “farce”. It wasn’t a good look for the series in its first season under FIA World Championship status.

Holes have been exposed in the FIA regulations every time the electric paddock has met in 2021. The campaign kicked off in Saudi Arabia with a clutch of blameless drivers having their qualifying lap times deleted by a yellow flag incident up the road, only to start the race from grid slots behind the guilty party. In Rome, there were lobbying efforts to move the position of the staggered start line away from the exit of a blind bend after Oliver Turvey rounded said unsighted corner and clattered into stationary cars awaiting a practice launch. Events at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo will take some beating. Just nine of the 24 drivers were classified after the final of five safety car periods led to one last slash in energy usage limits.

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