Duval doubts sincerity of drivers' praise of Formula E

Rachit Thukral
·3-min read

Duval competed in the first three seasons of Formula E during its Gen1 era with Dragon Racing, before departing the series after the 2016-17 campaign to race in the DTM with Audi.

Over the years, the French driver has accumulated experience in a wide variety of cars, including LMP1, DPi, Class One and Super Formula, and will race in the top category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year with JDC-Miller Motorsports.

But asked for his thoughts on Formula E, Duval said he doesn't find the series' all-electric cars enjoyable to drive - and questioned if Formula E is as good as the drivers who compete in the series make it look like.

"I don't like Formula E because for me the cars are not quick," said Duval. "And I'd like to say I like the locations they are doing, the format of the thing, I like the racing in the cities. 

"But I have been able to race, to do few years in Formula E, I have been able to get behind the steering. And behind the steering as a driver you don't enjoy as much as other cars with more power and grip. 

"Whichever driver is saying today that Formula E is great to drive, it's because he's in the championship and he gets paid for that, to race, so for sure he can't be against it. But it cannot be as much as enjoyable as an LMP car, as DTM car or SUPER GT car, that's for sure.

"Out of an electric car you can still have a lot of fun. If the package is made with a lot of grip and performance, for sure you can enjoy it big time."

Duval's opinion was rejected by fellow 2020 Audi DTM driver Rene Rast, who starred on his Formula E debut in the second round of the season in Berlin.

Rast, who has now been confirmed for Audi's final season in Formula E alongside Lucas di Grassi, said Formula E cars are fun to drive even if they are not as fast as a Class One car he's accustomed to from his four years in the DTM.

"I think every race car is fun to drive," said Rast. "If I put you in a race car like a Formula E car, you will enjoy it like crazy. But obviously if you drive a prototype car, downforce, power, Formula E car has something different. 

"But I have to say when it comes down to the race, the tyre and energy management, Formula E is a lot more strategy [oriented] in terms of driving for the drivers itself. You as a driver have so much influence on your race results. 

"For me personally it's a lot of fun because I'm somebody who analyses a lot of things in detail. I love it. Obviously, a Formula E car is slower, has no sound. That doesn't mean it's not fun to drive."