The ABB FIA Formula E championship will keep the points system used in season 4 after plans to award points for the most efficient driver was rejected by the FIA’s World Motorsport Council.
The plan was for a driver to be awarded a point for being the most efficient during the race replacing the point allocated for the fastest lap. Awarding points for being efficient rather than fast had the potential for creating dull racing with drivers not pushing at their maximum and with drivers already tasked with managing their energy during the race it had the potential for creating a lull at the end of the race.
After Season 2 the way in which points were awarded for the fastest lap were altered following the controversy in the Season 2 finale where championship contenders DiGrassi and Buemi spent the race attempting the fastest lap to win the title after their collision at the start. The rules now only allow a driver inside the top ten to be awarded a point as opposed to two points previously for any driver setting the fastest lap, this was to stop an unfair advantage that those who had issues in the race had as Roger Griffiths BMW Andretti Team Principal explains:
“We had two points for fastest lap and then we had all those situations where people were pitting with an issue or whatever, make it back to the pits, reset the car and then had no chance of finishing in the top 10 but could set the fastest lap and get two points.”
“That was actually more points than finishing 10th – so in the end they docked it so it only got one point for fastest lap and one point for 10th place.”
He then went on to explain the issues with the proposed points idea:
“It’s a nice idea but once you start to think through the challenges, is it the right thing to say ‘well I finished fifth, I was the most efficient car, but I wasn’t going as fast as the guy that finished first’.”
“It was just a little bit weird – it was one of those things that needed more thought.”
Formula E needs to try to stick to be as pure of a racing sport as it can be, it needs to be about drivers pushing to the absolute limit as well as pushing for efficiency in electric vehicles, this u-turn is the right decision but I’m sure this won’t be the last time we see something like this in Formula E.
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