Formula E

Da Costa pinches Pole two days in a row

For the second round of the Berlin E-Prix, Antonio Felix Da Costa flies ahead of the rest to take his second pole position.

Only 16 hours since the finish of Round 6, we saw Qualifying begin for Round 7. Same as yesterday, we had the four group stages and then the shoot out for the Julius Baer Pole Position. A difference from Round 6 is the track evolution and drivers understanding this time where to place their cars.

Beginning with Qualifying group 1, we saw Da Costa, Stoffel Vandoorne, Mitch Evans, Alexander Sims, Sam Bird and Maximilian Gunther. Vandoorne and Sims left the pits with 2 minutes remaining on the clock. Group 1 should have had less of a disadvantage due to yesterdays track use but still fell down the order later on in the session. Gunther put in a very quick first sector but Da Costa flew round and smashed all three sectors, topping the group with a 1.06:791.

Group 2 consisted of Lucas Di Grassi, Nyck de Vries, Sebastian Buemi, Jean-Eric Vergne, Andre Lotterer and Eduardo Mortara. De Vries left the pits with 1 minute and 50 seconds to go, the rest of the group following closely. The Dutchman set the second fastest sector 1 of both groups, but then got beaten by Di Grassi and Buemi, also putting in impressive first sectors. Despite this, De Vries went 3rd in the times, Di Grassi behind in 4th and Vergne still struggling, only managing 5th fastest. Buemi knocked Da Costa off the top spot with a 1.06:779.

Next we had group 3 with Robin Frijns, Oliver Rowland, Daniel Abt, James Calado, Felipe Massa and Jerome D’Ambrosio. Continuing differences in each qualifying group showed Rowland leaving the pit lane with 3 minutes left to go of the session. The British Nissan E.dams driver had a good lap including a fast final sector, slotting him in 5th and a chance of Super Pole. Frijns had an even better lap, managing to put himself in 3rd place. Unfortunately, all other drivers in group 3 struggled, finishing out of the top ten.

Rounding up qualifying, we saw group 4 with Oliver Turvey, Sergio Sette Camara, Nico Muller, Neel Jani, Rene Rast and Alex Lynn take their shot. Turvey also left the pits with 3 minutes to go but only managed 16th on his lap. Camara seemed to miss the apex at turn 5 and due to oversteer, will start 21st. Muller and Jani also found it hard to put in good times, starting ahead of Camara in 19th and 20th. Newcomer Rast was on set for a top 10 finish but lost a lot of time in the final sector, completely messing up his lap and with start the E-Prix right at the back. Someone in group 4 who did have a spot of luck was Lynn who had a extremely impressive lap, smashing into Super Pole in 3rd position.

A complete change from yesterday as we see one car from group 1, three from group 2, one from group 3 and one from group 4. Out first was Di Grassi who had a big lock up at turn 1 but held it together to put in a good first sector. The Brazilian used the wall to slide out of turn 5 and set a time of 1.07:292 to beat. After his lap, Di Grassi complained to him team, saying “too much oversteer everywhere”.

Next up we saw De Vries, who also had a little trouble at turn 1 but when continuining on the lap, then managed to have a mighty sector 2, showing his car changes directions really well. De Vries beat Di Grassi with a 1.06:921.

Frijns then took his turn to fight for pole but had some wheel spin in sector 1, costing the Envision Virgin racing drvier time. Despite this mishap, Frijns was still up in the times but after a lock up at turn 5, he found himself in 2nd place, only 0.053 from De Vries.

We then had newcomer Lynn in the Mahindra Racing car, who drove it round very neat and tidy. Lynn lost a bit of time in sector 2 but had a great final sector to take provisional pole with a 1.06:919, beating De Vries by only 0.002.

Next up was yesterdays winner, Da Costa, who seemed to miss the apex of turn 1. Da Costa then showed us why he is on top right now by flying round the track on a truly amazing synchronised lap. The Portuguese driver managed to beat Lynn’s time by almost 0.5 seconds. Whilst finishing his lap, Da Costa came over the radio to express his delight to the team, saying “whatever happens, that was a nice lap”.

Finally, the Nissan E.dams driver of Buemi took to the track to see if he could put a stop to Da Costa’s dominance. Buemi gave it his all and put in a good first sector but even though he had a tidy lap, the Swiss driver could not knock the DS Techeetah off of pole.

Da Costa is feeling extremely happy with the results of the last couple of days, telling commentator Nicki Sheilds, “you know, I’m just enjoying myself, I’m having so much fun”.

Don’t forget to check back with Overtake Motorsport later today with the lastest news and results from Round 7 of the Berlin E-Prix.

Feature Image Credit: ABB FIA Formula E Official Twitter



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