Sims

FE: Sims takes pole position for Diriyah E-Prix

Alex Sims has taken pole position for the opening Formula E race of the season in Diriyah, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz EQ of Stoffel Vandoorne.

Sims put in a great lap-time on his flying lap to end up nearly three tenths faster than Vandoorne, while Nyck De Vries, who is making his debut in the series, was an impressive third, just 0.09s slower than Vandoorne.

Edoardo Mortara was two tenths further back in fourth, while Sam Bird threw away a shot at pole position in the opening stages of his flying lap.

Bird had been fastest after the four qualifying groups set their times, but went wide in the first sector, having to back out of the throttle to avoid hitting the wall, and he could only go fast enough for fifth.

Jarome D’Ambrosio was the fastest of the Mahindra Racing cars ending up sixth, nearly a second down on Sims, although he was the first driver to set a lap in Superpole.

The five drivers in the first qualifying session found themselves at a disadvantage, cleaning a dusty track for the following groups, and it showed, with none of the drivers from the group making it through to Superpole.

It meant that reigning champion, Jean Eric Vergne found himself down in 11th, while Sebastien Buemi ended up 14th fastest.

Brendon Hartley has had a nightmare of a debut so far, unable to set many laps in practice, and then could only manage 18th in qualifying.

DS Techeetah driver, Antonio Da Costa, also had a session to forget, after going on his flying lap a lap earlier than the other drivers in the first group, and found himself along way behind, and ended up 21st.

Nico Mueller and James Calado both crashed within seconds of each other at the same corner, both locking up in Q4, and they failed to set any representative lap-times ended up last of the classified finishers in 23rd and 24th.

Qualifying results

Position Driver Team Time
1 A. SIMS BMW I ANDRETTI 1:14.563
2 S. VANDOORNE MERCEDES-BENZ 0.276
3 N. DE VRIES MERCEDES-BE 0.366
4 E. MORTARA ROKIT VENTURI 0.568
5 S. BIRD ENVISION VIRGIN RACING 0.787
6 J. D’AMBROSIO MAHINDRA RACING 0.976
7 A. LOTTERER TAG HEUER PORSCHE FORMULA E TEAM 1:15.518
8 O. ROWLAND NISSAN E.DAMS 0.135
9 M. GÜNTHER BMW I ANDRETTI MOTORSPORT 0.162
10 O. TURVEY NIO 333 FE TEAM 0.5
11 J. VERGNE DS TECHEETAH 0.611
12 R. FRIJNS ENVISION VIRGIN RACING 0.682
13 P. WEHRLEIN MAHINDRA RACING 0.682
14 S. BUEMI NISSAN E.DAMS 0.725
15 D. ABT AUDI SPORT ABT SCHAEFFLER FORMULA E TEAM 0.746
16 M. EVANS PANASONIC JAGUAR RACING 1.014
17 F. MASSA ROKIT VENTURI RACING 1.065
18 B. HARTLEY GEOX DRAGON 1.556
19 L. DI GRASSI AUDI SPORT ABT SCHAEFFLER FORMULA E TEAM 1.695
20 N. JANI TAG HEUER PORSCHE FORMULA E TEAM 2.227
21 A. DA COSTA DS TECHEETAH 3.095
22 MA QING HUA NIO 333 FE TEAM 6.183
23 N. MÜLLER GEOX DRAGON 7.499
24 J. CALADO PANASONIC JA 8.274
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