Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans believes qualifying group one will still be at a disadvantage, despite the volume of races taking place at the Berlin Tempelhof airport over the next two weeks.
Drivers qualifying in the first group usually struggle to find as much pace as those running in later qualifying groups due to track evolution. The nature of the Berlin circuit – which is built on the apron of the disused airport – means that track evolution is particularly significant, putting those qualifying in the early groups at even more of a disadvantage.
However, there will be 13 races taking place in Berlin over a nine day period – six Formula E races and seven for the support Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy.
Evans expects busy Berlin schedule will mean evolution won’t be as much of a factor for the final rounds of the championship, but doesn’t believe it will be an entirely level playing field.
“The racing line will be very similar, so I’m expecting the drop off to not be as great,” he explained. “It will still be a disadvantage because the nature of the track dropping away between FP2 and the first group, but it shouldn’t be too unfair for the guys in group one.
“Those sort of factors have a huge impact on championships. From track to track, it’s always quite different. But, in these circumstances, if you are in group one you may be able to get away with it, especially for the third weekend.
“[The third weekend] is a whole new track but there’s still parts of the track that will be the same.
“Sometimes it’s really brutal; there’s a huge track evolution. Berlin is one of those tracks. I guess the first race would be as normal and hopefully it cleans up a bit so it’s a little bit more of a level playing field.”
Evans is currently second in the championship standings, putting him in the first qualifying group in the opening round of the Berlin sextuple.
Team-mate James Calado, who will run in group three, pointed out track evolution isn’t the only thing that will make a difference from group to group.
“One thing that will affect qualifying from group one to group four is temperature. The increase in track temperature is very sensativ here. The hotter it is, the slower you’ll go.
“It will be a compromise between the condition of the track and the temperature. I think it’s going to be pretty evenly matched but, at the end of the day, it’s important to get a good lap in. That’s the key point.”