Di Grassi believes 10 drivers will compete for FE title in New York
2016/17 Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi believes as many as 10 drivers could head to the season finale in New York still in contention to win the drivers’ title as the current qualifying format ‘penalises’ the the championship’s leading drivers.
In a wildly unpredictable season, seven different drivers have each won a race so far and di Grassi is one of nine drivers currently separated in the standings by just 13 points.
With the championship heading to Paris this weekend for round eight, di Grassi says he’s targeting “consistency and wins” in the second half of the season but admits a lot will depend on his performance in qualifying.
“A win, of course [is the target in Paris], but it depends a lot on qualifying. We definitely have the car and the capacity to win,” said di Grassi.
“We are trying everything we can to focus on qualifying. We cannot just forget the race, we have to have good race pace, but the main focus this weekend will be qualifying. There are other factors, but we’re doing everything we can [to improve on that]”.
Since winning the Mexico City E-Prix in February, Di Grassi has slipped to fifth in the drivers’ championship and has failed to reach superpole in each of the previous two races.
The Brazilian though believes his performance in qualifying has been better this season compared to last year, despite recent results not reflecting that.
“I think after Riyadh and Marrakesh the car improved massively, especially in qualifying. At the third race of the season, I would agree we were pretty bad in qualifying,” said di Grassi.
“If you look objectively, in Santiago I was six-tenths quicker than anybody else, in Mexico I was on the front row, in Hong Kong I was the only one in group one to go to superpole in the rain, last race [in Rome] I was in front of JEV, a few hundred behind Bird and Da Costa.
“I think qualifying has been pretty good, better than last year in terms of performance.”
Di Grassi expressed his doubts that any of the current title contenders will pull clear at the top of the standings and predicts as many as 10 could still be in contention at the season-ending New York E-Prix.
“I think between the top five, it’s always going to be a big fight because of the qualifying format. It will definitely penalise the top five guys,” he said.
“I think the top 10 will be very close, we’ll have 10 drivers fighting [for the championship] in New York.”
Image Credit: Formula E
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