Robin Frijns became today’s poleman in a session with absences and surprises.
Due to Edoardo Mortara’s big crash in free practice, only 19 cars took part in qualifying due to Andre Lotterer’s shunt in Free Practice 3 and all four Mercedes-powered cars not allowed to take to the track while any issue was investigated. Shortly after the session, Venturi announced on Twitter that the Swiss-Italian was “conscious, talking and on his way to hospital for precautionary assessments”.
Group 1 was topped by Oliver Rowland, with Pascal Wehrlein, Mitch Evans, and Rene Rast following suit. Nyck de Vries, who was supposed to participate in this stint, was not allowed to go out on track as Mercedes and Venturi (Mercedes powered) cars will not take part in qualifying.
Stoffel Vandoorne, supposed to partake in Group 2, was also affected by this measure. Said group was topped by Oliver Turvey, followed by Antonio Felix da Costa. Alexander Sims and Lucas di Grassi, who was also part of Group 2, finished within the Top 5.
Due to Venturi and Mercedes cars not being able to contest in qualifying, Norman Nato did not take part in the session in Group 3. Frijns topped the standings, followed by Tom Blomqvist. Jean-Eric Vergne and Sebastien Buemi, also part of this group, completed the Top 5.
After their stint, Group 4 drivers Sergio Sette-Camara and Sam Bird were able to sneak into the Top 5. Nico Mueller also got himself a place in Super Pole, by finishing in P6.
Super Pole would have Frijns, Sette-Camara, Blomqvist, Bird, Turvey, and Mueller fighting to become today’s poleman.
Mueller, the first one to complete his Super Pole lap, set a time of 1:09.060. Turvey, who came next, overtook him on the standings with a 0.621-second gap between them.
Bird climbed up to P1 with a lap time of 1:08.405. Blomqvist could not quite match the leading time, finishing his stint in P3.
Sette-Camara set a lap time of 1:08.178, which allowed him to move up to P1 with just one driver to go in Super Pole. Finally, it would be Frijns who topped the standings, with a time of 1:07.889 and became today’s poleman.
Therefore, Frijns will start today’s race from P1, with Sette-Camara completing the front row. Bird and Turvey will start from the second row, while Blomqvist and Mueller will do so from the third row.
Today’s qualifying had the particularity of not having the Mercedes-powered cars on track. It should also be highlighted the great performances shown by both NIO and Penske Dragon, two teams which are not usually found in the top places, but today all their drivers managed to sneak into Super Pole.