Daniel Abt has won pole position for the Berlin ePrix, but faced some anxiety over an investigation into an alleged power use infringement during the group qualifying session.

The German was under immense pressure at the Audi team’s home race to make it through to the ‘Super Pole’ shootout, and faced the added challenge of doing so in the opening group session which typically occurs when track conditions are at their worst.

He went on to win the ‘Super Pole’ session with a time of 1:09.482, but later faced investigation over claims that he had reportedly activated his 200kW power setting before the final sector that preceded his flying lap in group qualifying.

Abt and Turvey, who also ran in the Group 1 qualifying session, ultimately qualified 1-2 with the NIO driver posting a lap just over a quarter of a second slower.

The second row of the grid will be led by championship leader Jean-Éric Vergne, who was quickest in the earlier practice sessions. The Techeetah driver had a scruffy ‘Super Pole’ lap and came within inches of tagging the wall at the exit of the Turn 9 hairpin. Aiding the Frenchman’s title bid, his closest rivals Sam Bird and Felix Rosenqvist qualified tenth and sixth respectively.

Jérôme d’Ambrosio, not a driver typically renowned for his one-lap speed, qualified a surprise fourth-fastest for Dragon Racing while Abt’s teammate Lucas di Grassi – the fastest driver in the overall group stage of qualifying – starts from fifth place.

The defending Formula E champion was slower than Abt through the first sector on his ‘Super Pole’ flying lap and lost a further eight-tenths of a second when he overcooked it at the Turn 9 hairpin.

Defending Berlin ePrix winner Rosenqvist just missed out on a ‘Super Pole’ berth and will start his Mahindra ahead of 2015-16 season champion Sébastien Buemi’s Renault e.dams.

DS Virgin Racing managed to get both of its drivers in the top-ten, with Alex Lynn and the aforementioned Bird sandwiching Jaguar’s Mitch Evans on the starting grid.


2018 ABB Formula E BMW i Berlin ePrix – ‘Super Pole’ Qualifying Results
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time Gap
1. Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1:09.472
2. Oliver Turvey NIO Formula E Team 1:09.735 + 0.263
3. Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah Renault 1:09.991 + 0.519
4. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Dragon Racing Penske 1:10.054 + 0.582
5. Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1:10.498 + 1.026
2018 ABB Formula E BMW i Berlin ePrix – Preliminary Qualifying Results
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time Gap*
6. Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Racing 1:09.951 + 0.331
7. Sébastien Buemi Renault e.Dams 1:09.994 + 0.374
8. Alex Lynn DS Virgin Racing Citroën 1:10.002 + 0.382
9. Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:10.087 + 0.467
10. Sam Bird DS Virgin Racing Citroën 1:10.087 + 0.467
11. José María López Dragon Racing Penske 1:10.105 + 0.485
12. Tom Dillmann Venturi Formula E Team 1:10.214 + 0.594
13. Maro Engel Venturi Formula E Team 1:10.248 + 0.628
14. Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Racing 1:10.264 + 0.644
15. Nelson Piquet Jr Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:10.270 + 0.650
16. Stéphane Sarrazin MS&AD Andretti Formula E 1:10.315 + 0.695
17. António Félix da Costa MS&AD Andretti Formula E 1:10.418 + 0.797
18. André Lotterer Techeetah Renault 1:10.598 + 0.978
19. Luca Filippi NIO Formula E Team 1:10.601 + 0.981
20. Nicolas Prost Renault e.Dams 1:10.618 + 0.998

* Denotes gap to fastest Q1 qualifying lap time of 1:09.620 posted by Lucas di Grassi.

Post-Qualifying Penalties:

  • André Lotterer – who provisionally qualified 18th-fastest – will serve a 10-place grid penalty for causing a collision at the preceding Paris ePrix. As he is unable to serve his penalty in full, he will start the race from the pit lane and serve an additional 5-second stationary penalty during his mandatory pit stop.

Image via FIA Formula E Championship

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Geoff Burke

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