Sebastien Buemi claimed pole for the final race of the season in New York.
The Renault driver put in a stunning final sector on his super pole lap to put himself top of the order with a 1m17.973s in wet conditions.
Behind him, the teams’ championship battle is set for the final showdown, with both Techeetah and both Audi drivers making it to the final five. Andre Lotterer put himself on the front row of the grid ahead of team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi’s Daniel Abt.
A small mistake at the start of Lucas Di Grassi’s super pole lap meant the Brazilian couldn’t set a representative time and will start the race fifth.
Qualifying played out in changing conditions, with the rain having cleared before the start of the session but standing water still covering the track. As expected, the opening qualifying group struggled to find grip on the slippery surface, but the track evolution didn’t quite favour those in the final group, with four of the five drivers in the super pole having set their times in the second group.
The Jaguars of Mitch Evans and Nelson Piquet Jnr, out in the final qualifying group, narrowly missed out on the super pole shoot out. Evans qualified P6, just 0.009s behind Vergne’s time in the group stages.
Piquet claimed seventh, ahead of Sam Bird and Felix Rosenqvist, with Stephane Sarrazin – the best of the group one drivers – completing the top 10.
NIO’s Ma Qing Hua, standing in for an injured Oliver Turvey, made a mistake at the start of his qualifying lap. The Chinese driver lost the rear of his car and hit the wall, damaging the suspension and forcing him to drive the entire circuit with a crabbing car.
He was unable to set a representative lap time, with his time more than seven seconds slower than Evans’ P6 effort.
Antonio Felix Da Costa was the only other driver to fail to set a lap time. The Andretti driver had reported a problem in free practice but the team was unable to locate the issue. It reoccurred on his out lap and Da Costa returned to the pits without setting a time.
|NC||Antonio Felix||DA COSTA||-|