Sebastien Buemi has taken the first pole position of Formula E’s double-header finale weekend, on a developing and extremely low-grip New York track.
Formula E tracks are often dusty and unpredictable, compared to conventional circuits but an exceptionally dusty and baking hot Red Hook saw drivers in earlier groups heavily disadvantaged – and all of the top five in the championship out of Super Pole contention.
Group One: Jean-Eric Vergne, Lucas di Grassi, Mitch Evans, Andre Lotterer, Antonio Felix da Costa
The visibly dusty track put Group One at a disadvantage, under baking hot sun and with what title leader Jean-Eric Vergne described as “no grip at all” on the tight street track.
Times were uncompetitive enough that Vergne commiserated not only with his own teammate Lotterer but closest title rival Di Grassi, no realistic super pole hope from the first group.
|1||Antonio Felix da Costa||BMWi Andretti||1’10.845|
|2||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Techeetah||1’10.933|
|3||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar||1’11.065|
|4||Lucas di Grassi||Audi||1’11.080|
|5||Andre Lotterer||DS Techeetah||1’11.222|
Group Two: Robin Frijns, Sebastien Buemi, Daniel Abt, Sam Bird, Jerome D’Ambrosio
All five drivers immediately looked set to beat Da Costa’s time comfortably, however, a spin for D’Ambrosio cost him severely and left him almost certainly destined to line up last in the race.
Sam Bird, not mathematically in the title fight at the final rounds for the first time in Formula E history and double race-winner in New York during Season 3, was not quite able to beat Sebastien Buemi’s time to both go several tenths clear into provisional Super Pole.
|1||Sebastien Buemi||Nissan e.Dams||1’10.556|
|2||Sam Bird||Envision Virgin||1’10.588|
|4||Robin Frijns||Envision Virgin||1’10.854|
Group Three: Oliver Rowland, Edoardo Mortara, Pascal Wehrlein, Felipe Massa, Stoffel Vandoorne, Alexander Sims
Although extremely mixed in times, compared to Group Two, Wehrlein and Sims were able to push Vergne out of provisional Super Pole, forcing the championship leader out of any further qualifying.
Vandoorne lost grip and skimmed the wall towards the end of his lap, while a big mistake from Felipe Massa saw him well out of contention.
|2||Alexander Sims||BMWi Andretti||1’10.590|
|4||Stoffel Vandoorne||HWA AG||1’11.449|
|5||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.Dams||1’11.605|
Group Four: Maximilian Guenther, Alex Lynn, Gary Paffett, Oliver Turvey, Jose-Maria Lopez, Tom Dillman
|2||Jose-Maria Lopez||GEOX Dragon||1’10.836|
|3||Maximilian Guenther||GEOX Dragon||1’11.005|
|5||Gary Paffett||HWA AG||1’11.095|
Super Pole: Sebastien Buemi, Sam Bird, Pascal Wehrlein, Alexander Sims, Alex Lynn, Daniel Abt
A mistake for Sam Bird meant it briefly looked as though Wehrlein could take pole on his New York debut, after narrowly beating an impressive lap from Alex Lynn.
However Sebastien Buemi – whose win-less streak has continued now for almost two entire seasons – was not to be denied the top spot and went four tenths clear of any other driver to secure the first pole of the finale.
Vergne, starting 10th on the grid, needs a podium finish to close the title before tomorrow’s race.
|1||Sebastien Buemi||Nissan e.Dams||1’10.188|
|3||Alex Lynn||Panasonic Jaguar||1’10.696|
|5||Alexander Sims||BMWi Andretti||1’10.899|
|6||Sam Bird||Envision Virgin||1’11.094|
|7||Jose Maria Lopez||GEOX Dragon||1’10.836|
|8||Antonio Felix da Costa||BMWi Andretti||1’10.845|
|9||Robin Frijns||Envision Virgin||1’10.854|
|10||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Techeetah||1’10.933|
|11||Maximilian Guenther||GEOX Dragon||1’11.005|
|13||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar||1’11.065|
|14||Lucas di Grassi||Audi||1’11.080|
|15||Gary Paffett||HWA AG||1’11.095|
|16||Andre Lotterer||DS Techeetah||1’11.222|
|19||Stoffel Vandoorne||HWA AG||1’11.449|
|20||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.Dams||1’11.605|