Formula E does u-turn on qualifying draw

Credit: Formula E

Formula E will no longer use the much disliked lottery system when deciding qualifying groups for drivers.

A change had been mooted earlier in the year, but it was believed that organisers chose to stick with the current system – where drivers draw lots to decide which of four qualifying groups they will go out in.

The lottery had drawn derision from drivers who would often lose out at random by being drawn in an earlier group, when the track was at a lower temperature and less rubbered in.

The first qualifying session in Hong Kong this weekend will still use the old system, before groups then being decided by championship order.

Whoever is first to fifth in the driver’s standings will go out in Group A, with sixth to tenth going out in Group B, eleventh to fifteenth in Group C, and the last five drivers in the championship going out in Group D.

A driver will then be picked at random to decide which order the groups will go out in.

The system will ensure that rivals in the championship go out at the same time, and eliminate the chances of one driver gaining an unfair advantage by being drawn in a later group than a rival.

Reigning champion Lucas di Grassi was one of the drivers who was most critical of the previous system, telling Autosport, “I don’t like the system – I was really unfavoured in season one and two in London, and I was favoured in season three.

“You cannot let this stuff [come down] to luck. It would be very good to put the drivers in the championship in the same group.”