Mitch Evans has claimed pole position for the Santiago ePrix, the Jaguar pilot setting the fastest time in both the group stages of qualifying and Super Pole to lead the field in to this afternoon’s race.

The Kiwi banked a 1:04.941 lap in his qualifying group, and improved it further to 1:04.827 on his Super Pole lap to retain his place at the top of the timesheets.

BMW i Andretti’s Maximilian Günther will start alongside Evans in second, having also finished in that position across both sections of the qualifying process, while Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein moved up from sixth in the group stage to third on the grid following Super Pole.

Felipe Massa (ROKiT Venturi) and Oliver Turvey (NIO 333) will start from fourth and fifth respectively – the pair also retaining their positions though both qualifying legs, while Nissan e.Dams’ Sébastien Buemi – last year’s pole winner in Santiago – slipped from third to sixth with a slightly messier lap in Super Pole.

Just missing the cut-off to progress from the group stages by 0.022 seconds was the second Venturi of Edoardo Mortara, who will start seventh ahead of the Mercedes pair of Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne. António Félix da Costa in the leading DS Techeetah will start from tenth.

Da Costa’s teammate – reigning champion Jean-Éric Vergne – will start from eleventh, ahead of Neel Jani in the first Porsche, Daniel Abt in the leading Audi and Jani’s teammate André Lotterer.

The eighth row of the grid is filled by the two winners from the first event of the season in Saudi Arabia, with championship leader Alexander Sims qualifying his BMW in 15th position, and Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird (also last season’s Santiago victor) 16th.

Brendon Hartley set the fastest time for GEOX Dragon Racing, however it was only good enough for 17th on the grid, his teammate Nico Müller will start on the row behind in 19th, while James Calado’s Jaguar forms the filling in the Dragon sandwich in 18th position.

The drivers behind all suffered issues during qualifying. Jérôme d’Ambrosio experienced a technical problem with his Mahindra late in his full-power lap, slowing and ending with a time 2.751 seconds off Evans’ provisional pole pace and 20th on the grid. Robin Frijns spun his Virgin racer at Turn 1, miraculously avoiding both the wall and Mortara’s car in the process. The Dutchman recovered and completed his lap, losing ‘only’ 4.148 seconds to Evans as a result.

Oliver Rowland collected the Turn 4 wall heavily during his qualifying lap and will start from 22nd as long as the Nissan e.Dams team complete the repair work in time for the race start. Lucas di Grassi locked up and ran down the escape road at Turn 9 during his qualifying lap, the result being the Brazilian was not classified as a qualifier and will start from 23rd on the grid.

Worse still was in store for Ma Quing Hua, who crashed during the morning’s second practice session. The damage sustained to Ma’s NIO 333 in this impact was substantial enough for the repair to be ongoing through qualifying, forcing the Chinese driver to miss the session and resigning him to 24th and last on the grid.

2020 FIA Formula E Championship Santiago ePrix – ‘Super Pole’ Qualifying Results
Driver Team / Entry Time Gap
1. Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:04.827
2. Maximilian Günther BMW i Andretti Motorsport 1:05.102 + 0.275
3. Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing 1:05.645 + 0.818
4. Felipe Massa ROKiT Venturi Racing 1:05.645 + 0.818
5. Oliver Turvey NIO 333 FE Team 1:05.788 + 0.961
6. Sébastien Buemi Nissan e.dams 1:05.809 + 0.982
2020 FIA Formula E Championship Santiago ePrix – Preliminary Qualifying Results
Driver Team / Entry Time Gap*
7. Edoardo Mortara ROKiT Venturi Racing 1:05.547 + 0.606
8. Nyck de Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team 1:05.560 + 0.619
9. Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team 1:05.566 + 0.625
10. António Félix da Costa DS Techeetah 1:05.574 + 0.633
11. Jean-Éric Vergne DS Techeetah 1:05.625 + 0.684
12. Neel Jani TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team 1:05.696 + 0.755
13. Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1:05.745 + 0.804
14. André Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team 1:05.801 + 0.860
15. Alexander Sims BMW i Andretti Motorsport 1:05.848 + 0.907
16. Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing 1:05.886 + 0.945
17. Brendon Hartley GEOX Dragon 1:06.126 + 1.185
18. James Calado Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:06.305 + 1.364
19. Nico Müller GEOX Dragon 1:06.367 + 1.426
20. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Mahindra Racing 1:07.692 + 2.751
21. Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 1:09.089 + 4.148
22. Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams 1:18.239 + 13.298
23. Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1:26.526 + 21.585
DNQ. Ma Qing Hua NIO 333 FE Team no time

*Denotes gap to fastest preliminary qualifying time of 1:04.941 posted by Mitch Evans

Championship Points:

  • Three bonus points are awarded to the driver (Mitch Evans) and their corresponding team (Panasonic Jaguar Racing) who claims pole position.
  • A bonus point is awarded to the driver (Mitch Evans) and their corresponding team (Panasonic Jaguar Racing) who is the fastest driver in the group stages of qualifying.

Post-Qualifying Penalties:

  • Ma Qing Hua failed to post a time in qualifying and will start the race at the discretion of the FIA Stewards.

Earlier, Sam Bird began his defence of last year’s Santiago victory in the best possible way, setting the fastest time in opening practice. With a heavily revised and far less technical Parque O’Higgins circuit layout in use this season, Bird’s 1:04.914 was over six seconds faster than the 1:11.263 lap record set by Daniel Abt last year.

Second fastest in the session was DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa (1:05.064), with Edoardo Mortara just 0.032 seconds further back in third place for Rokit Venturi. Ultimately the 18 drivers from the 24 car field ended the session within a second of Bird’s lap time.

Practice Two was interrupted by two red flag periods, the second of which brought the session to a premature end. The first red flag was shown to clear debris left on the circuit from Brendan Hartley’s GEOX Dragon, while Ma Quinghua’s crash prompted the second interruption. With less than a minute to go in the session once the NIO 333 had been recovered, the session was not resumed.

Despite the disruptions to the session meaning several drivers did not complete a clean lap on full power, this time the top 13 drivers still banked laps within a second of Oliver Rowland’s 1:04.779 fastest time. Second fastest was Felipe Massa for Venturi (+0.131), while Evans ended the session third, a further 0.116 seconds back.

Images via ABB FIA Formula E Championship

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.