Yvan Muller has said he believes the new qualifying and points system for this year needs further work, though believes it’s still massively improved compared to last season’s controversial and unpopular system.
The three-time champion extended his lead over Rob Huff in the Championship by 10 points over the weekend in Portugal, but by just four over team-mate Alain Menu, with both drivers winning a race and finishing fifth in the other. Only Muller’s four points for qualifying in second place differentiated the two drivers’ scores over the weekend.
“I’m disappointed, I was not well paid for my efforts of the weekend, but it’s racing,” said Muller to TouringCarTimes.
“That they give points for qualifying is good, but I think there should be more points, because if you look at Rob for example this weekend, he deserves more points than Alain, and I think he lost points to Alain.”
“When you start at the back (of the top ten) in race one with a good car, the cars in front of you are much ‘less good’,” explained Muller. “But with the reversed grid, we are at the back but with good cars all around us, so it’s more complicated to get to the front.”
The Frenchman was quick to confirm that he believes this year’s new qualifying system, where the top ten from Q2 are reversed for the second race, with the top five scoring points, is still much better than last year’s where the top ten from Q1 were reversed with no points for qualifying – which saw a highly manipulative session where drivers were deliberately attempting to set the tenth quickest time.
“There is no comparison to last year, but I just think qualifying should have more points than it does,” he said.
Alain Menu has benefitted the most from the new reverse grid for race two system, having taken two of his three wins in the second race. The Swiss driver has also been the highest average scorer in the second race, taking 20 points on average per round (not including his DNFs because of punctures at the Slovakiaring and the Salzburgring).
Rob Huff in comparison has scored 15 points on average in race two, and Yvan Muller the least of the three Chevrolet drivers at 12 per race.
For race one results however, Muller leads the way, averaging 19 points per finish to Huff’s 18, with Menu trailing on 14.