I havnt done too many full races with qualifying, but the few i have it always seems this way. I might start 8th and finish #3, or start 5th and take #1. I've seen this in a lot of games. I suspect devs do it to try and make the race more interesting. the player qualifying worse creates some tension, urgency and desire to win. the race happens, the player has a better than expected result based on qualifying, making the player feel good about their performance. it makes the game more exciting, and creates a rollercoaster that keeps the player coming back. if the race result is generally close to the starting grid order, maybe some players get bored of it. for an arcade game, i think this mechanic is totally great, as the point of the game is pure entertainment for the player. However, for a sim, i find this to be a turn off. AI should be realistic, not suddenly under or over perform for the sake of theatrics. a sim should be about realism, not fiction. im hoping in RRE this has just been a fluke...or maybe its depends on AI level. (im playing against AI level 90-92) maybe it would be ok if lower AI levels did this, for newer players, but hopefully at a certain point its not fake like this, it feels scripted, which is a real turn off. another reason this is a turn off, is that if you want to turn the AI up so they perform close to you in a race, it probably means they cream you in qualy...so then you have to start at the back of the grid and fight to get to the front. it shouldnt work like this, its not realistic. it should be possible to qualify in 1st, and finish in first the whole race with only a small gap behind, not have to fight all the way from the back, or turn AI down so much you start in 1st and finish 1st with a ridiculous 2 minute gap or something. IRL in many races, the podium is going to be drivers from the top 5 or so on the grid. heroic results like going from back of the grid to the podium can and do happen, but these should be extremely rare, not an every occurrence.