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Wehrlein: Qualifying “Less Important” This Season

Pascal Wehrlein expects the emphasis to shift from qualifying to race efficiency this season…

Photo: Marc Calvo

Pascal Wehrlein anticipates more emphasis on efficiency during Formula E races this season than on qualifying performance in order to gain success on the track.

The Mahindra Racing driver will be heading into his sophomore season later this month at the Ad Diriyah E-Prix after claiming two pole positions and a second place in last season’s Santiago E-Prix.

He believes that the new for 2019-20 sporting regulations which dictate the removal of energy when race neutralization periods are actioned will reward efficiency more than ever.

“There will be more re-generating and lift and coast this season definitely which I think will be good for naturally efficient cars and drivers too,” Wehrlein told e-racing365.

“I have mixed emotions to be honest because I know think qualifying will be less important and it is more now that you have to have an efficient package.

“This is an area you have to spend a lot of time to get an efficient powertrain so I think this will be an obvious key to being successful. So, some drivers and teams will benefit depending on how they have worked with the overall efficiency.”

Wehrein was satisfied after the first test race at Valencia last month that he and Mahindra will be competitive again this season.

The German posted the second fastest time with his Friday morning best just 0.097 seconds shy of Maximilian Guenther’s overall best qualifying simulated lap.

“With the rule changes we actually managed it really well and when we took away the energy as the safety car rule was simulated, we really were learning about this,” he said.

“We were not the fastest but we were not far off, so I think we are in the mix somewhere.

“It will be easier to overtake now with the extra power that we have but at the same time it is quite difficult with consuming more energy in the attack mode so you need to find a good compromise.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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