André Lotterer has claimed pole position for the Rome ePrix, becoming the seventh different driver to take pole from seven events this season.
Lotterer topped both regular qualifying and ‘Super Pole’ in his DS Techeetah, adapting best to the damp conditions to clock a 1:32.123 lap. Starting alongside Lotterer will be the Jaguar of Mitch Evans, 0.360 seconds behind the German.
In a strong upturn in form, both Dragon Racing cars made it into the ‘Super Pole’ session; José María López is set to start from third with his teammate Maximilian Günther directly behind him on the grid in fifth.
Splitting the pair is HWA Racelab’s Stoffel Vandoorne, while Sébastien Buemi rounds out the top six 4.208 seconds slower than Lotterer, as the Nissan e.Dams driver struggled in the conditions.
Regular qualifying was much closer, with Lotterer beating out Evans by 0.181 seconds to top the running and just 0.580 seconds separated those who progressed to Super Pole – although interestingly, the order of the top six did not change between the qualifying and Super Pole sessions.
Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara was the fastest of drivers to miss the cut, just 0.056 seconds slower than Buemi, while Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing), Pascal Wehrlein (Mahindra) and Mortara’s teammate Felipe Massa filled out the rest of the top ten.
Oliver Rowland will start eleventh in the second Nissan e.Dams, ahead of a gaggle of championship challengers: points leader António Félix da Costa, Sam Bird and Lucas di Grassi line up in positions 12 to 14. This group of divers will be looking to capitalise on starting ahead of reigning champion Jean-Éric Vergne and fellow title rival Jérôme d’Ambrosio, will start 16th an 19th respectively.
Alexander Sims brought out the red flag during his qualifying lap as a technical issue saw his BMW stop on circuit. Having not set a lap with the full 250kW of power available, Sims will start from 22nd and last place on the grid.
|2019 GEOX Formula E Rome ePrix – ‘Super Pole’ Qualifying Results|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap|
|1.||André Lotterer||DS Techeetah||1:32.123|
|2.||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||1:32.483||+ 0.360|
|3.||José María López||Geox Dragon Racing||1:32.906||+ 0.783|
|4.||Stoffel Vandoorne||HWA Racelab||1:33.233||+ 1.110|
|5.||Maximilian Günther||Geox Dragon Racing||1:35.640||+ 3.517|
|6.||Sébastien Buemi||Nissan e.dams||1:36.331||+ 4.208|
|2019 GEOX Formula E Rome ePrix – Preliminary Qualifying Results|
|7.||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team||1:30.397||+ 0.636|
|8.||Robin Frijns||Envision Virgin Racing||1:30.422||+ 0.661|
|9.||Pascal Wehrlein||Mahindra Racing||1:30.609||+ 0.848|
|10.||Felipe Massa||Venturi Formula E Team||1:30.623||+ 0.862|
|11.||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.dams||1:30.723||+ 0.962|
|12.||António Félix da Costa||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||1:30.804||+ 1.043|
|13.||Sam Bird||Envision Virgin Racing||1:30.880||+ 1.119|
|14.||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||1:30.977||+ 1.216|
|15.||Gary Paffett||HWA Racelab||1:30.980||+ 1.219|
|16.||Jean-Éric Vergne||DS Techeetah||1:31.016||+ 1.255|
|17.||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||1:31.043||+ 1.282|
|18.||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||1:31.043||+ 1.282|
|19.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Mahindra Racing||1:31.192||+ 1.431|
|20.||Tom Dillmann||NIO Formula E Team||1:31.220||+ 1.459|
|Outside 107%||Team / Entry||Time||Gap*|
|DNQ.||Alex Lynn||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||1:39.657||+ 9.896|
|DNQ.||Alexander Sims||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||1:46.182||+ 16.421|
*Denotes gap to fastest preliminary qualifying time of 1:29.761 posted by Sébastien Buemi
Earlier, Rowland was fastest in opening practice and has been the case at so many events this year, the lap record was reset as the second generation Formula E car rolled out in Rome for the first time. Rowland’s 1:29.738 lap lowered the benchmark by over six seconds compared to last season’s event, with Vergne and di Grassi leading a group of 14 drivers all within a second of Rowland’s time.
It was Vergne who moved to the top in Practice Two, lowering the record further to 1:29.370. da Costa and Buemi were closest behind, as the top six in the session all lapped the circuit in under 1:30.0. The red flag was flown part-way through the session when Lopez found the barriers in the turn 21 chicane, the stricken Dragon requiring recovery back to the pit lane.
Images via ABB FIA Formula E Championship