S6 qualifying bonus point an advantage for Groups 3 and 4 - Lucas di Grassi
Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi has said Formula E’s bonus point for the fastest driver in the group qualifying stages for Season 6 is in the advantage of Group 3 and 4 runners.
As opposed to a normal qualifying draw, Formula E utilises a group qualifying system, with the field of 22 getting divided into four groups - two groups of five and two groups of six - with each driver completing one sole 250kW run with the top six progressing through to Super Pole.
With qualifying spanning one hour, over the course of Season 5, a performance disparity has been regularly seen, with runners in latter groups gaining an advantage in lap time through a more rubbered in circuit.
Placed second in the Drivers’ Championship, Season 3 champion di Grassi is regularly been part of Group 1, facing a disadvantage in qualifying with the green nature of the circuit resulting in the creation of a typically slower and therefore, less competitive lap time.
"I’m not against the [qualifying] system," di Grassi told Motorsport Week. "I think the system of the groups and the system of putting the championship leaders in the worse conditions is not bad for the championship.
"That’s the only reason why this year we have eight drivers still mathematically in championship contention. That’s the only reason although I don’t like the way the group system is done.
"Personally, since I’ve been in Group 1 since Mexico, I could have done more podiums and more points if I was in a normal qualifying draw. For the championship, it's good though."
For Season 6, Formula E will introduce an additional bonus point in qualifying, with getting awarded to the fastest driver at the end of the group qualifying stages - something that di Grassi feels is an advantage for Group 3 and 4 runners.
"The extra point is clearly an advantage for Groups 3 and 4 to get that point,” he added.
With one weekend of racing remaining in Formula E's present 2018/19 campaign, di Grassi trails championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne by 32 points while 58 points are still on offer.