Oliver Turvey has celebrated his thirtieth birthday with his first Formula E pole position, which he inherited after Daniel Abt was excluded for a tyre pressure infraction.
Abt had topped the Super Pole session with a 1:02.711 lap but was later found to have not complied with the 1.60-bar minimum permitted tyre pressure regulation and was excluded from qualifying. The German will now start in eighteenth position, ahead of only the two Faraday Future Dragon Racing cars of Jérôme d’Ambrosio (also excluded for the same infringement as Abt) and Loïc Duval, who crashed out of his qualifying group.
Also receiving a grid penalty is Maro Engel. Having set the third fastest time in Super Pole, the Venturi driver will drop ten places for an earlier gearbox change – later corrected to twelfth place following Abt’s demotion.
With all penalties applied, José María López joins Turvey on the front row, ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne’s Techeetah and the Mahindra of Nick Heidfeld.
Championship leader Sebastien Buemi was caught out by a notably dusty track surface to set only the ninth-fastest qualifying lap (1:03.402) and will start from seventh on the grid. Buemi’s main title rival Lucas di Grassi had an even tougher session, his 1:03.690 lap being the slowest in his qualifying group, 18th fastest overall, and leaves the Brazilian with a 17th place start.
Series debutant Esteban Gutiérrez will start eleventh in his first ePrix, having set a 1:03.509 lap time.
|2016-17 Formula E Mexico City ePrix – ‘Super Pole’ Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap*|
|1.||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO Formula E Team||1:02.867||+ 0.156|
|2.||Maro Engel^||Venturi Formula E Team||1:03.045||+ 0.334|
|3.||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:03.072||+ 0.361|
|4.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Techeetah||1:03.202||+ 0.491|
|EXC.||Daniel Abt^||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||excluded|
|2016-17 Formula E Mexico City ePrix – Preliminary Qualifying Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap*|
|6.||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:03.022||+ 0.310|
|7.||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:03.099||+ 0.387|
|8.||António Félix da Costa||MS Amlin Andretti Formula E Team||1:03.363||+ 0.651|
|9.||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:03.402||+ 0.690|
|10.||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:03.425||+ 0.713|
|11.||Stéphane Sarrazin||Venturi Formula E Team||1:03.491||+ 0.779|
|12.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Techeetah||1:03.509||+ 0.797|
|13.||Adam Carroll||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||1:03.553||+ 0.841|
|14.||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||1:03.563||+ 0.851|
|15.||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||1:03.589||+ 0.877|
|16.||Robin Frijns||MS Amlin Andretti Formula E Team||1:03.688||+ 0.976|
|17.||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:03.960||+ 0.978|
|18.||Nelson Piquet Jr||NextEV NIO Formula E Team||1:04.082||+ 1.370|
|DNQ.||Loïc Duval||Faraday Future Dragon Racing||1:11.575||+ 8.863|
|EXC.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio^||Faraday Future Dragon Racing||excluded|
* Denotes gap to fastest Q1 qualifying lap time of 1:02.712 posted by Oliver Turvey.
^ Post-Qualifying Penalties:
Daniel Abt’s pole position-winning time was excluded from the ‘Super Pole’ session for running under-pressurised tyres. He will start the Mexico City ePrix from 18th position on the grid.
Mero Engel will start the MExico City ePrix from 12th position on the grid after earning a 10-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
Jérôme d’Ambrosio’s provisional qualifying times were excluded for running under-pressured tyres. He will start the Mexico City ePrix from 19th position on the grid.
Earlier, Buemi showed no ill-effects of his late arrival to Mexico City by topping both practice sessions. Despite being held up by Gutiérrez on his fastest lap, Buemi set what was at that stage a new unofficial lap record of 1:02.222 during a 200kW qualifying simulation lap to lead Practice 1. The Swiss driver was one of several drivers to complete a lap during the session at full power, along with the Dragon Racing pair of Duval and d’Ambrosio in second and third. Several drivers spun in dusty conditions – in particular at the re-profiled final chicane – while Engel’s Venturi stopped on track.
During Practice 2, Buemi improved his lap time by a further 0.058 seconds to stay at the head of the field, 0.111s ahead of di Grassi with Vergne a further 0.011s back. The session was mostly without incident, save for López damaging the right front suspension of his DS Virgin when the Argentinian clipped the wall.
Race start for the 2017 Mexico City ePrix is scheduled for 16:00 local time (UTC -06:00).
Images via FIA Formula E Championship