DS Techeetah’s Jean-Éric Vergne has claimed pole position for Formula E’a first trip to Switzerland’s capital, Bern.
Having set the second fastest time through the group stages of qualifying, Vergne set a 1:18.813 lap in ‘Super Pole’ to take provisional pole. Ultimately the final runner in the session – Jaguar’s Mitch Evans, who fastest in the group qualifying stage – couldn’t beat this time, falling 0.307 seconds short and will instead start alongside Vergne on the front row.
Third on the grid is Nissan e.Dams’ Sébastien Buemi (+0.351) who moved up one position in Super Pole, while Pascal Wehrlein (Mahindra Racing, +0.355), Maximilian Günther (Dragon Racing, +0.558) and Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing, +0.723) fill the remaining positions on the first three rows.
While six different teams were represented in the top six positions, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler is not one of them. Daniel Abt was the first driver to miss out on the single-lap shootout and will start from seventh, while his teammate Lucas di Grassi – battling for the championship – could only muster 19th.
Team mates of some of the Super Pole competitors fill the remaining positions in the top ten, with André Lotterer (Techeetah), Robin Frijns (Virgin) and Alex Lynn (Jaguar) starting eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
Joining di Grassi towards the rear of the field is BMW i Andretti’s António Félix da Costa, who is fourth in the championship heading to Bern but only 20th on the grid. With title rival Vergne starting at the front, this pair of championship contenders have their work cut out for them.
|2019 Formula E Julius Baer Swiss ePrix – ‘Super Pole’ Qualifying Results|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap|
|1.||Jean-Éric Vergne||DS Techeetah||1:18.813|
|2.||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||1:19.120||+ 0.307|
|3.||Sébastien Buemi||Nissan e.dams||1:19.164||+ 0.351|
|4.||Pascal Wehrlein||Mahindra Racing||1:19.168||+ 0.355|
|5.||Maximilian Günther||Geox Dragon Racing||1:19.371||+ 0.558|
|6.||Sam Bird||Envision Virgin Racing||1:19.536||+ 0.723|
|2019 Formula E Julius Baer Swiss ePrix – Preliminary Qualifying Results|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap*|
|7.||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||1:19.554||+ 0.657|
|8.||André Lotterer||DS Techeetah||1:19.585||+ 0.688|
|9.||Robin Frijns||Envision Virgin Racing||1:19.591||+ 0.694|
|10.||Alex Lynn||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||1:19.608||+ 0.711|
|11.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Mahindra Racing||1:19.613||+ 0.716|
|12.||Felipe Massa||Venturi Formula E Team||1:19.638||+ 0.741|
|13.||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.dams||1:19.670||+ 0.773|
|14.||José María López||Geox Dragon Racing||1:19.714||+ 0.817|
|15.||Stoffel Vandoorne||HWA Racelab||1:19.719||+ 0.822|
|16.||Gary Paffett||HWA Racelab||1:19.804||+ 0.907|
|17.||Alexander Sims||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||1:19.908||+ 1.011|
|18.||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team||1:20.023||+ 1.126|
|19.||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||1:20.034||+ 1.137|
|20.||António Félix da Costa||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||1:20.081||+ 1.184|
|21.||Tom Dillmann||NIO Formula E Team||1:20.506||+ 1.609|
|22.||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||1:20.551||+ 1.654|
*Denotes gap to fastest preliminary qualifying time of 1:18.897 posted by Mitch Evans
Earlier, Vergne began the event in the same way as he would in qualifying, by setting the fastest time with a 1:19.281 lap in opening practice. Lotterer was second, 0.111 seconds behind his teammate, while di Grassi just 0.048 seconds further back in third as the top 16 cars were covered by less than a second.
Wehrlein set the pace in a tight second practice session, lowering the benchmark to 1:19.188. The Techeetah pair were again strong, Lotterer (+0.006) leading Vergne (+0.010) in this instance. Several drivers were seen making small mistakes, pinching brakes and missing braking markers during this session as they pushed to find the limits on the inclines of this new circuit – the wild rides prompting Mitch Evans to describe the track as “a bit of a roller coaster”.
Images via ABB FIA Formula E Championship