Felix Rosenqvist has backed up his victory in yesterday’s race to take pole position for Round 8 of the FIA Formula E Championship in Berlin.
Showing his pace from Saturday is truly genuine, Rosenqvist set the fifth-fastest time in regular qualifying, before setting a 1:08.208 as the first car on track in SuperPole. Try as they might, none of the following four drivers could better that time, leaving the Swede to start from the front for the second time in his Formula E career.
In a turnaround of form from yesterday’s qualifying session where he could only manage 14th on the grid, Sébastien Buemi was just 0.098 seconds slower Rosenqvist, and will start from second place. Having been excluded from the Saturday race due to a tyre pressure infringement, Buemi will be aiming to recover some of the points buffer he lost to title rival Lucas di Grassi, who is set to start from seventh.
DS Virgin Racing also continued their strong qualifying form in Berlin, with José María López and Sam Bird both reaching SuperPole for the second time in two days, ending the session in third and fourth places respectively after Bird was fastest in regular qualifying. Jean-Éric Vergne’s SuperPole lap was messy, and left the Techeetah driver fifth on the grid.
After the session, Rosenqvist was jubilant at continuing his rich run of form beyond yesterday’s victory.
“I saw the lap was 1:08.2, which was a half second slower than free practice, so I thought maybe I’m P3, P4, but to improve on yesterday and get three points is… Wow! Unbelievable,” he exclaimed.
Outside the SuperPole drivers, Oliver Turvey (NextEV NIO) improved from Saturday to qualify in sixth position, ahead of ABT Schaeffler Audi duo di Grassi and Daniel Abt, Nicolas Prost (Renault e.Dams) and the Jaguar of Mitch Evans.
Both the Faraday Future Dragon Racing cars of Loïc Duval and Jérôme d’Ambrosio, along with the Andretti Autosport cars of Rbin Frijns and António Félix da Costa failed to make the top ten, while both Venturis will also start in the second half of the field.
The biggest drop from Saturday to Sunday belongs to Nick Heidfeld in the second Mahindra. Having qualified fourth and raced to third place yesterday, the German was plagued by a throttle sensor problem which prevented him from completing a lap at full power and resulted in a lap time three seconds slower than his teammate’s pole-winning time. Given the pace shown by both team cars all weekend, expect Heidfeld to quickly move forward from 20th on the grid during the race.
|2016-17 Formula E Berlin ePrix – Race 2 ‘Super Pole’ Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap*|
|1.||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:08.208|
|2.||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:08.306||+ 0.098|
|3.||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:08.454||+ 0.246|
|4.||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:08.688||+ 0.480|
|5.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Techeetah||1:09.103||+ 0.895|
|2016-17 Formula E Berlin ePrix – Race 2 Preliminary Qualifying Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap*|
|6.||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO Formula E Team||1:08.142||+ 0.337|
|7.||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:08.223||+ 0.418|
|8.||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:08.348||+ 0.543|
|9.||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||1:08.356||+ 0.551|
|10.||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||1:08.465||+ 0.660|
|11.||Loïc Duval||Faraday Future Dragon Racing||1:08.483||+ 0.678|
|12.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Faraday Future Dragon Racing||1:08.552||+ 0.747|
|13.||Maro Engel||Venturi Formula E Team||1:08.582||+ 0.777|
|14.||Robin Frijns||MS Amlin Andretti Formula E Team||1:08.583||+ 0.778|
|15.||Tom Dillmann||Venturi Formula E Team||1:08.738||+ 0.933|
|16.||Stéphane Sarrazin||Techeetah||1:08.822||+ 1.017|
|17.||António Félix da Costa||MS Amlin Andretti Formula E Team||1:09.085||+ 1.280|
|18.||Nelson Piquet Jr||NextEV NIO Formula E Team||1:09.149||+ 1.344|
|19.||Adam Carroll||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||1:09.543||+ 1.738|
|20.||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:11.267||+ 3.462|
* Denotes gap to fastest Q1 qualifying lap time of 1:07.805 posted by Sam Bird.
^ Post-Qualifying Penalties:
Earlier, Buemi came out firing in the first practice session. Being one of two drivers to complete a lap at the full 200kW power level, the Swiss driver lowered the unofficial lap record to 1:07.712, three tenths faster than any driver had lapped on Saturday.
Di Grassi was the only other driver to run a full-power qualifying simulation during the session, but ended over 1.3 seconds slower than Buemi.
López lowered the practice record further in Practice Two, laying down a 1:07.640 lap time. Rosenqvist was second for the session 0.083 seconds behind, ahead of Buemi and Bird.
Race start for Round Eight of the FIA Formula E championship in Berlin is scheduled for 16:00 local time (UTC+02:00).
Image via FIA Formula E Championship