Oliver Rowland has taken pole for the Monaco ePrix but will start from third place on the grid, handing pole position to reigning champion Jean-Éric Vergne.

A three-place grid penalty received following an infringement during the last event in Paris initially pushed the Brit down to fourth on the grid, however Rowland will now start third after an additional penalty was handed to third-fastest qualifier Mitch Evans.

Evans was found to have activated the 250kW power mode too early in the ‘Super Pole’ session. While not providing a performance advantage for his Super Pole lap, it is a breach of regulations, and the Jaguar driver was handed a formal reprimand as a result. Unfortunately for the Kiwi, it is his third reprimand of the season – prompting an automatic 10 grid position penalty. Evans drops from second (after Rowland’s penalty is applied) to twelfth on the grid.

Evans was the first car on circuit in ‘Super Pole’, banking a 50.112 second lap, while Rowland – next on circuit – set a 50.021 lap that was unable to be bettered by the remaining drivers. Next to run was Rowland’s Nissan e.Dams team mate Sébastien Buemi, the Monaco ePrix’s only pole- and race-winner in its two events, but the Swiss driver was only able to set a time good enough for sixth, 0.213 seconds off Rowland.

Fourth on circuit was Felipe Massa, who would set the fifth fastest ‘Super Pole’ lap for Venturi in the team’s home event. Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein followed, ending the session fourth fastest but ultimately will start alongside Vergne in second on the grid once all penalties are applied. Vergne was the final car to run, the Techeetah driver ending second on the time sheets, just 0.021 seconds slower than Rowland – but ultimately enough to be able to start the race from the front.

ean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah DS E-TENSE FE19 - 2019 Formula E Monaco ePrix

Rowland’s grid drop promoted Vergne to pole position. Victory would make the Frenchman the season’s first two-time race-winner.

Alexander Sims was the fastest driver to miss Super Pole, the BMW i Andretti driver 0.104 seconds off Evans’ cut-off time in the group stages of qualifying. The top ten was rounded out by Alex Lynn in the second Jaguar, António Félix da Costa in the second BMW, and GEOX Dragon Racing’s José María López.

A number of championship contenders will start in the back half of the grid. Current points leader Robin Frijns could only manage twelfth fastest, while his Envision Virgin Racing teammate Sam Bird struggled even more and will line up in 15th. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi qualified 13th, Mahindra’s Jérôme d’Ambrosio 17th and Edoardo Mortara 19th in the second Venturi. André Lotterer made a mistake on his full-power lap, and while still less than a second slower that the fastest group stage qualifying lap set by his team mate Vergne, the German will start 22nd and last on the grid.

With both previous Monaco Formula E races having been won from pole position, the stage is set for Vergne to become the first driver to take two victories this season.

2019 Formula E Monaco ePrix – ‘Super Pole’ Qualifying Results
Driver Team / Entry Time Gap
1. Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams 50.021
2. Jean-Éric Vergne DS Techeetah 50.042 + 0.021
3. Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 50.112 + 0.091
4. Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing 50.128 + 0.107
5. Felipe Massa Venturi Formula E Team 50.218 + 0.197
6. Sébastien Buemi Nissan e.dams 50.346 + 0.213
2019 Formula E Monaco ePrix – Preliminary Qualifying Results
Driver Team / Entry Time Gap*
7. Alexander Sims BMW i Andretti Motorsport 1:01.037 + 0.587
8. Alex Lynn Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:01.012 + 0.562
9. António Félix da Costa BMW i Andretti Motorsport 1:00.952 + 0.502
10. José María López Geox Dragon Racing 1:07.494 + 7.044
11. Stoffel Vandoorne HWA Racelab 1:01.471 + 1.021
12. Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 1:00.793 + 0.258
13. Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 1:00.761 + 0.311
14. Maximilian Günther Geox Dragon Racing 1:00.719 + 0.269
15. Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing 1:00.928 + 0.478
16. Oliver Turvey NIO Formula E Team 1:00.876 + 0.426
17. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Mahindra Racing excluded
18. Daniel Abt Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 1:00.739 + 0.289
19. Edoardo Mortara Venturi Formula E Team 1:00.801 + 0.351
20. Gary Paffett HWA Racelab 1:01.135 + 0.685
21. Tom Dillmann NIO Formula E Team 1:00.784 + 0.334
22. André Lotterer DS Techeetah 1:00.738 + 0.288

*Denotes gap to fastest preliminary qualifying time of 50.048 posted by Jean-Éric Vergne

Post-Qualifying Penalties:

  • Oliver Rowland will serve a three-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable collision with Alexander Sims during the Paris ePrix.
  • Mitch Evans will serve a ten-place grid penalty for earning his third driving reprimand of the 2018-19 Formula E Championship season.
  • Maximilian Günther will serve a ten-place grid penalty for earning his third driving reprimand of the 2018-19 Formula E Championship season.
  • Jérôme d’Ambrosio will serve a three-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable collision Sam Bird during the Paris ePrix.
  • Edoardo Mortara will serve a three-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable collision with Alex Lynn during the Paris ePrix.

Earlier, di Grassi was fastest in opening practice, the Audi driver setting a 50.183 second lap time – 2.543 seconds faster than the previous outright lap record, set by Buemi in 2017. Bird and Evans filled second and third places, as 18 of the 22 cars banked laps within a second of di Grassi.

Practice 2 saw Rowland shoot to the top of the order, dropping the lap record below 50 seconds for the first time, the new mark set at 49.847 seconds. Second and third were the Techeetahs of Vergne and Lotterer, both drivers also dropping below the 50-second barrier.

Images via ABB FIA Formula E Championship

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Mitch Timms

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Professional motorsport engineer and all-round tech head.