Nicolas Prost will start the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship race later today from pole position.
The Frenchman – son of four-time Formula 1 champion Alain, who’s also one of the partners in the e.dams team – posted a fastest time of 1:42.200 around the 3.4-kilometre circuit (average speed 150.656km/h) in the third of the series’ four 5-car qualifying sessions.
Prost had looked to improve on his session-topping lap next time around, but made a slight mistake and nudged the wall. Fortunately, he didn’t sustain any damage.
Prost edged out the Audi Sport ABT duo of Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt for top spot; both were in the same qualifying group.
Karun Chandhok completes the second row of the grid in his Mahindra Racing entry, having gone quickest in the opening qualifying session. He starts ahead fellow ex-F1 racers Franck Montagny (Andretti Autosport), Nick Heidfeld (VENTURI) and Jaime Alguersuari (Virgin Racing), who all ran in the fourth and final session.
Charles Pic, Sébastien Buemi and Nelson Piquet Jr rounded out the top ten.
Three drivers – Bruno Senna, Jarno Trulli and Stéphane Sarrazin – failed to post a lap time and will start from the rear of the field. Sarrazin suffered a mechanical issue in his VENTURI racer, while owner/driver Trulli was out just seconds later in the opening session after tagging the Turn 8 wall and damaging his rear wing.
The corner also caught out Buemi, but at least he had managed to post a competitive lap time before his incident.
Any hopes of a second-generation Prost vs Senna qualifying battle were thwarted when Senna – who was fastest in final practice – was unable to post a time.
The inaugural Formula E race gets underway at 4:00pm local time (UTC +8).
2014-15 Formula E Beijing e-Prix – Qualifying Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Group|
|1.||Nicolas Prost||Team e.dams Renault||1:42.200||3|
|2.||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team||1:42.206||+ 0.106||3|
|3.||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team||1:42.454||+ 0.254||3|
|4.||Karun Chandhok||Mahindra Racing Formula E Team||1:42.461||+ 0.261||1|
|5.||Franck Montagny||Andretti Autosport Formula E Team||1:42.530||+ 0.330||4|
|6.||Nick Heidfeld||VENTURI Formula E Team||1:42.579||+ 0.379||4|
|7.||Jaime Alguersuari||Virgin Racing Formula E Team||1:42.683||+ 0.483||4|
|8.||Charles Pic||Andretti Autosport Formula E Team||1:42.726||+ 0.526||2|
|9.||Sébastien Buemi||Team e.dams Renault||1:42.746||+ 0.546||4|
|10.||Nelson Piquet Jr||China Racing Formula E Team||1:42.785||+ 0.585||3|
|11.||Oriol Servia||Dragon Racing Formula E Team||1:42.847||+ 0.647||1|
|12.||Sam Bird||Virgin Racing Formula E Team||1:42.936||+ 0.718||2|
|13.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Dragon Racing Formula E Team||1:44.056||+ 1.856||2|
|14.||Takuma Sato||Amlin Aguri||1:44.129||+ 1.929||2|
|15.||Ho-Pin Tung||China Racing Formula E Team||1:45.282||+ 3.082||2|
|16.||Katherine Legge||Amlin Aguri||1:45.369||+ 3.169||3|
|17.||Michela Cerruti||Trulli Formula E Team||1:46.170||+ 3.970||1|
|18.||Jarno Trulli||Trulli Formula E Team||no time||1|
|19.||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing Formula E Team||no time||4|
|20.||Stéphane Sarrazin||VENTURI Formula E Team||no time||1|
Image via FIA Formula E Championship Media