Robin Frijns took his first ever Formula E pole position after a demon lap ahead of the equally flamboyant Sergio Sette Camara.
Frijns topped practice this morning and topped group qualifying meaning that putting it together in Super Pole was just a formality.
He nailed it with an exciting lap to go over two tenths clear of Sette Camara who put on a mighty performance for Dragon Penske.
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) February 27, 2021
Third, half a second back, is Frijns old teammate Sam Bird who was disappointed with his lap but in a good place for the race.
In fourth and fifth were the mega NIO drivers, Oliver Turvey and Tom Blomqvist. No points last year and now way up on the grid. They held their own last night and hopefully can avoid slipping back.
Avoiding slipping back will be on Dragon Penske’s minds too with Sette Camara joined in Super Pole by his team-mate Nico Müller. Müller set very fast sectors 1 and 2 but made a mistake in the final sector leaving him sixth when he could have been on the front row.
The Dragon Penske cars have last year’s powertrain so will be worried about the cars behind but have had their best qualifying in years so deserve good results.
In a massive turn of events, the four Mercedes cars were forced not to take part in qualifying. This meant both Mercedes works and Venturi customer cars were forced to remain in the garage.
As a result of a technical issue and suspected brake failure causing a dangerous crash for last night’s second place finisher Edoardo Mortara in FP3, the FIA wanted to investigate the Mercedes car and blocked them from going on track.
They were unable to set times meaning last night’s winner Nyck De Vries, Mortara, Stoffel Vandoorne and Norman Nato had to sit out.
Mortara was due to sit out qualifying anyway after having to go to hospital. Thankfully he is conscious and can feel all of his body. It is not yet known if he will be declared fit to race.
That is if they can investigate the Mercedes cars in time and deem them safe for the race.
Seventh place went to two-time champion Jean-Eric Vergne who missed out on Super Pole by 0.04s in the end. He was able to make up places yesterday and bearing in mind the slightly less efficient cars ahead, he could be a headache later tonight.
Season 2 champ Sebastien Buemi is eighth with Antonio Felix Da Costa starting behind him in ninth.
Nick Cassidy couldn’t quite match his teammate’s wonder lap in the group stages. Max Günther disappointed for BMW not just missing out on Super Pole from Group 4, but even the top 10. He starts ahead of Alex Lynn who is 12th after his grid penalty is added.
Lynn was penalised for causing a collision in last night’s race when he put himself and Bird out of the race, causing the first Safety Car.
Oliver Rowland navigated Group 1 well yet again to start 13th, but only two drivers set a lap-time in that sessions. With De Vries and Mortara not taking part, only Rowland, Pascal Wehrlein, Mitch Evans and René Rast took part.
As Wehrlein went for it, Evans and Rast were stuck behind Rowland whilst they squabbled for the most advantageous track position.
Evans and Rast didn’t set fast times in the end and start 18th and 19th. They were saved by the Mercedes and Venturi exclusion as well as a crash for Andre Lotterer in FP3.
14th place went to Alexander Sims with Luca Di Grassi behind him. Wehrlein was 16th ahead of Jake Dennis.
Lotterer rounded out last behind the Mercedes cars who are in finishing order from last night with De Vries in 20th, Mortara 21st, Vandoorne 22nd and Nato 23rd.
The second Diriyah E-Prix of Season 7 takes place this evening at 5pm GMT.
|1||Robin Frijns||Envision Virgin Racing|
|2||Sérgio Sette Câmara||GEOX Dragon|
|3||Sam Bird||Panasonic Jaguar Racing|
|4||Oliver Turvey||NIO 333|
|5||Tom Blomqvist||NIO 333|
|6||Nico Müller||GEOX Dragon|
|7||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Techeetah|
|8||Sébastian Buemi||Nissan e.dams|
|9||António Felix da Costa||DS Techeetah|
|10||Nick Cassidy||Envision Virgin Racing|
|11||Maximilian Gunther||BMW i Andretti Motorsport|
|12||Alex Lynn||Mahindra Racing|
|13||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.dams|
|14||Alexander Sims||Mahindra Racing|
|15||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler|
|16||Pascal Wehrlein||TAG Heuer Porsche|
|17||Jake Dennis||BMW i Andretti Motorsport|
|18||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar Racing|
|19||René Rast||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler|
|20||Nyck de Vries||Mercedes-Benz EQ|
|21||Edoardo Mortara||ROKiT Venturi Racing|
|22||Stoffel Vandoorne||Mercedes-Benz EQ|
|23||Norman Nato||ROKiT Venturi Racing|
|24||André Lotterer||TAG Heuer Porsche|