Round 8 continues to throw up surprises for Formula E. All 4 qualifying groups scramble to fight for super pole with Mahindra marching to the top spot.
Qualifying set up stays the same in Paris with drivers split into their four groups thanks to championship order. For Group 1, we saw Lucas Di Grassi, Mitch Evans, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Andre Lotterer and Jerome D’Ambrosio. All five cars crossed the line by the skin of their teeth, ready to do one flying lap. Evans topped FP2 with an impressive lap but, unfortunately, due to mistakes, he finished at the bottom of his group. Lotterer had a good lap but it was D’Ambrosio who flew around the street circuit and took the top spot with a 1:00.699.
Group 2 gave us Sam Bird, Robin Frijns, Jean-Eric Vergne, Edorardo Mortara and Daniel Abt to see where they could place themselves. All eyes were to be on Bird who missed out completely on FP2 due to damage. Bird may have not made it into Super Pole but he did manage to put it higher than other cars despite hardly any dry weather track time. Vergne looked good throughout his lap but could only manage 7th, 1 spot out of Super Pole for the frenchman. Group 2 seemed to have slower sector times than Group 1 and did not have the cleanest of laps but Frijns put his car in the top spot with a 1:00.583.
We saw a few mistakes from the drivers in Group 3 which consisted of Stoffel Vandoorne, Felipe Massa, Oliver Rowland, Sebastian Buemi, Alexander Sims and Pascal Wehrlein. Sims made the decision to go out on track early, as he has done previously but, once again, it did not work out for the Brit who got too close to the wall. Vandoorne looked strong at the start but with a big lock-up at turn 3, it cost him a lot of time and the HWA driver will start on the last row of the grid. Despite mistakes, four drivers out of six made it into Super Pole from Group 3.
Group 4 gave us Alex Lynn, Maximilian Gunther, Jose Maria Lopez, Tom Dillmann, Oliver Turvey and Gary Paffett. Unfortunately for our final group, no one was able to improve on sector times and they lost a lot of time in the corners. This meant that no one from Group 4 made it into the top 6 for Super Pole.
Super Pole turned out to be rather surprising as we saw many familiar faces fighting out for the Julius Bar Pole Position. We saw Massa, D’Ambrosio, Frijns, Buemi, Wehrlein and Rowland take to the track one by one to see who could take that all important position. Massa hit the track first and seemed to struggle controlling the car. Massa also complained of the track being dirty but put in a decent lap of a 1:01.217. Next up, we saw D’Ambrosio but he had a messy start and could not find the sector times he needed to take the top spot, putting himself in second place. Frijns had a big lock up right at the start but then decided to give it all he could and attack the track fiercely. Frijns rubbed the wall very slightly but managed to steal the top spot with a 1:00.793. We then saw Buemi take his turn and he kept it very neat and tidy to put in a very decent time of 1:00.768 and continuing the run of stealing pole position. Wehrlein was up next and had a really good opening sector which continued throughout his lap and managed to put his car in all the right places to put in a 1:00.383 and take provisional pole. Last but not least, Rowland gave it everything he could but needed to make up time which, in the end, he could not find and went second.
This means Wehrlein has now broken the streak of different pole sitters and will start in P1 for the second time in this Formula E season. Stay tuned with Overtake Motorsport to see if Pascal Wehrlein can take his first win of the season? Paris E-Prix is at 3pm GMT.
Feature Image Credit: Mahindra Racing Twitter