Qualifying and Super Pole gave us edge of the seat action but DS Techeetah continues to dominate with Lotterer top of Super Pole.
As we all know, Qualifying set up is quite different in Formula E with the grid being split into four groups. Each group is then given the chance to prove what they can do to see who could reign on top.
Qualifying still causing quite a stir amongst the drivers with both Lucas Di Grassi and Sam Bird saying openly how they feel the layout is unfair with the Championship leaders having to go out first and along with track evolution, they have no chance of reaching Super Pole. After the qualifying sessions came to a close, Bird finished 14th with Di Grassi just behind him in 15th place.
Q1 group consisted of Championship Leader, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Di Grassi, Bird, Jerome D’Ambrosio and Jean Eric Vergne. There was not much difference in pace between the first five drivers making it a very close fight. Bird had a lock up at turn 5 and got extremely close to the wall. Despite Bird’s lap being rather messy, he managed to go 2nd in his group with Da Costa topping the pack with a 1:30.804 to beat.
Q2 saw Robin Frijns, Andre Lotterer, Eduardo Mortara, Daniel Abt and Pascal Wehrlein duel it out for their place in Super Pole. Everyone came out a near enough the same time but luckily, did not cause many issues for one another. The clouds began to shift over giving us a possibility in weather change for later on in the day. Mortara was very neat and tidy, giving a wonderful lap with Wehrlein finding similar pace. Lotterer was extremely quick through sectors 1 and 2 and managed to take the top spot with a 1:29.761 to fight for pole position.
We then had Q3 with Oliver Turvey, Felipe Massa, Mitch Evans, Oliver Rowland, Sebastian Buemi and Alexander Sims. Sims head out onto track earlier than we would have expected to see anyone, 5 minutes still remaining for Q3. Sims had to catch the car quite a few times with a big bout of oversteer but, unfortunately, his car began to slow and ultimately stopped causing a Red Flag for the session.
As the race directors assessed the situation, it was deemed that any times set within that Q3 would be disregarded and, with the exception of Sims, all Q3 cars would run again. Rowland managed to redeem his lap slightly but Evans was the star of the session by putting his Panasonic Jaguar in 2nd position. Buemi coming in 4th for the Nissan team.
Finally, Q4 took to the track with Alex Lynn, Stoffel Vandoorne, Maximillian Gunther, Jose Maria Lopez, Tom Dillmann and Gary Paffett. By now, raindrops has begun to fall, making things trickier on track. Vandoorne gave a very impressive lap to put himself 3rd and in a shot for another pole position. A welcome surprise for the Geox Dragon Team with both their drivers making into Super Pole for the first time this season.
We had our 6 gladiators ready to fight it out in Rome for the Julius Bar Pole Position consisting of Buemi, Gunther, Vandoorne, Lopez, Evans and Lotterer. Buemi up first and, with things becoming slippery due to weather, went straight on at turn 13 before he started his lap. Buemi managed to complete his lap but not with the best pace by setting a 1:36.331.
Gunther out next and in an almost identical move, went straight on at turn 13 for his out lap but managed to put in a great flying lap with better sectors all around than Buemi and went quickest with a 1:35.640.
After Gunther, we saw Vandoorne who managed to keep it very neat at the start and you could see him working the steering wheel very hard. Vandoorne put in a very impressive lap and went almost 2 seconds quicker with a time of 1:33.233.
Next, we had Lopez in the other Dragon who didn’t seem to put a foot wrong. Lopez flew around the track and gave us a lovely lap, beating Vandoorne with a 1:32.906.
For the penultimate car, we had Evans in the Jaguar who brought his car right to the wall with mere inches between them but, like his predecessors, managed to find some lightening pace in the wet conditions and went fastest with a 1:32.483.
Last but not least, we had Lotterer who wanted to show that his luck could change over the last couple of races and, at first, all things seemed lost where he mucked up the hairpin at turn 13 but still had super pace and kept the car going round the street circuit. Celebrations were already going along in the Panasonic Jaguar compound but they came very prematurely as Lotterer lived up to his team name and like a cheetah, pounced over the line with a 1:32.123!
A first season pole position for Lotterer who will be looking to make his mark just like his champion teammate who took victory at the previous race in China.
Don’t forget to check back later on today to find out what happens in Round 7 for the Rome E-Prix.
Feature Image Credit: Michelin Motorsport Twitter Page