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Rowland on pole in Seoul, Vandoorne to start seventh

Oliver Rowland produced a wet-weather masterclass to claim pole position for the Seoul E-Prix.

The Brit set a 1:35.406 in his Mahindra to go 6-tenths of a second quicker than Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi, despite missing the apex at Turn 22 on his final lap.

Notably, both drivers, who will be teammates at Mahindra next season, had come through the second qualifying group, who had the advantage of the rain starting to fall during their group as track conditions deteriorated throughout the session.

Rowland had beaten Pascal Wehrlein comfortably by over a second in his semi-final, going 1.6 seconds quicker than the Porsche driver despite a huge snap of oversteer in a straight line between turns 18 and 19, whilst di Grassi had a much closer fight with Mitch Evans in his, the gap being just two tenths at the end.

Evans was lucky to have made the duels as there was confusion over his minimum pit stop time, with everyone in Group 2 pitting due to an accident for Alex Sims at the Turn 2/3 complex.

Evans had qualified in fourth before having his lap time removed due to the investigation, which promoted Jean-Eric Vergne into the duels. However, the stewards ruled no further action, thus ending Vergne’s title bid.

Stoffel Vandoorne will be starting the race in seventh after losing to Wehrlein in their quarter-final, Sergio Sette Camara being the only driver in the duels to go slower after stopping on track with a problem and abandoning his lap against Rowland.

Jake Dennis and Edoardo Mortara, who had started the session in Group 1 with Sette Camara and Vandoorne when it was still dry, will be in fifth and sixth respectively.

The top ten will be rounded out by Vergne, and Sebastien Buemi in the Nissan.

Rob Lomas

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