Formula E

Di Grassi on Pole for Montreal ePrix

Lucas di Grassi has reduced the gap in the Formula E championship down to just seven points behind Sebastien Buemi after taking pole position for the first race this weekend at the Montreal ePrix.

The two title rivals were the last to take to the track in the Super Pole shootout after a thrilling qualifying group stage. Buemi was the first to go out of the two of them, setting a provisional time of 1:23.065 for di Grassi to beat. After the first split time came up It was revealed di Grassi was down on Buemi’s fastest time, though di Grassi pulled out a spectacular run in sectors two and three to gain back the deficit. He crossed the line to record a 1:22.869 to claim his third career pole, but more importantly three bonus points in the championship fight.

Considering the huge accident Buemi had in second practice, it was a commendable effort for him to get into super pole. However as a result of that accident the Renault e.dams needed to change the battery in his second car, triggering an automatic ten place grid penalty, which is set to make his afternoon all that harder. He will start the race in 12th place alongside di Grassi’s Abt Audi Sport team mate Daniel Abt.

Behind the two battling championship rivals it was a great day for Stephane Sarrazin who qualified third for TECHEETAH in his personal best qualifying of the season. While Buemi’s team mate Nico Prost qualified fourth after heading out first to complete his Super Pole lap. That left the Mahindra of Felix Rosenqvist to qualify fifth as the slowest of the Super Pole drivers, after a mistake under breaking into the first corner cost him heavily. While the session may not have gone the way he would have wanted he is at least still mathematically in the hunt for the championship.

The second TECHEETAH of Jean-Eric Vergne narrowly missed out on making it into the Super Pole shootout, qualifying sixth ahead of the two Jaguars of Mitch Evans in seventh and Adam Carroll in eighth. In what was the best qualifying performance of the season by the British team. NextEV driver Oliver Turvey qualified ninth, while Venturi’s Tom Dillmann rounded out the top ten.

It was not a good Qualifying session for the DS Virgin Racing boys, who due to a mapping problem with their car were unable to use full power in qualifying, meaning they set their laps with just 170KW. The problem left Jose Maria Lopez in 16th place while his team mate, double New York winner Sam Bird qualified 18th, all but scuppering the slim chance he may have had of taking the championship this season.

The pair of them were spared a more sever punishment by a similar fault on the Venturi of Maro Engel, who also suffered a huge lock up during his lap resulting in him qualifying 17th. While Nelson Piquet Jr in the NextEV car also had an issue on his flying lap which resulted in him qualifying just 19th on the grid.
A Faraday Future Dragon Racing blunder meant Jerome d’Ambrosio did not complete a proper lap before the chequered flag came out, and as a result he will start last for the race.

Qualifying times:

1 Lucas di Grassi, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport 1:22.869
2 Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams 1:23.065 (Ten place Grid Penalty not applied)
3 Stephane Sarrazin, TECHEETAH 1:23.179
4 Nico Prost, Renault e.dams 1:23.330
5 Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra 1:24.351
6 Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH 1:23.398
7 Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:23.532
8 Adam Carroll, Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:23.869
9 Oliver Turvey, NextEV NIO 1:23.923
10 Tom Dillmann, Venturi 1:23.931
11 Loic Duval, Faraday Future Dragon Racing 1:23.999
12 Daniel Abt, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport 1:24.302
13 Robin Frijns, Andretti 1:24.622
14 Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra 1:24.769
15 Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti 1:24.805
16 Jose Maria Lopez, DS Virgin Racing 1:25.297
17 Maro Engel, Venturi 1:25.369
18 Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing 1:25.770
19 Nelson Piquet Jr, NextEV NIO 1:26.165
20 Jerome D’Ambrosio, Faraday Future Dragon Racing 1:36.580

Feature Image Credit: FIA Formula E Media

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