Felix Rosenqvist claimed a stunning pole position at the inaugural Rome ePrix and closed the gap to championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne.
It means Rosenqvist now has six pole positions in his 19 Formula E races.
The three bonus points closed the gap between Vergne and Rosenqvist from 30 to 27 points. Vergne was only able to qualify his Techeetah in eighth place.
DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was second behind Mahindra’s Rosenqvist after setting a time of 1m36.987s – nearly seven-tenths of a second behind the Swedish driver.
Mitch Evans scored his best qualifying in Formula E with third place on the grid. Although he did qualify third in Punta del Este, he was moved to the back of the grid for a technical infringement.
Andre Lotterer also qualified in his highest position in Formula E with fourth place ahead of Season 2 champion Sebastien Buemi.
Reigning champion Lucas di Grassi just missed out on a Super Pole Shootout place with sixth place, ahead of NIO’s Oliver Turvey, Techeetah’s Vergne and Audi team-mate Daniel Abt.
Nick Heidfeld qualified in 10th with Alex Lynn, who crashed in both practice sessions in Rome, 11th. Andretti’s Tom Blomqvist was 12th with Nelson Piquet, Maro Engel and Nico Prost behind.
Qualifying started with drivers miscalculating the time to do a warm-up lap in the first group, with Jerome d’Ambrosio and Luca Filippi not able to set 200kW laps.
Lessons were learned by the drivers in the second qualifying group with no one waiting until the latter stages of the six-minute session to leave the garage.
Only Jaguar’s Nelson Piquet failed to set a representative time in the second group as he lost time going through the final section of corners sideways.
The fourth and final qualifying group started in dramatic fashion as Andretti’s Antonio Felix da Costa and Dragon Racing’s Jose Maria Lopez collided in the pit lane.
Lopez was released first but da Costa was released as the Argentinian passed his pit garage. Da Costa then hit Lopez, leaving Lopez furious and both drivers out of qualifying.
The incident was placed under investigation.
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