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Buemi back on Pole Position after an unexpected qualifying

Sébastien Buemi claimed his first pole position of the season, overcoming the struggles found in early stages. On a session with rather unexpected results, Bird starts in P2, whilst Rosenqvist and López make up the second row.

With a reputation for being the drivers’ least favourite group to be in, Group 1 had reigning champion Lucas di Grassi, André Lotterer, Jérôme d’Ambrosio, José María López on his comeback, and Formula E newcomer Tom Blomqvist.

Lotterer, whose performance looks to have improved greatly since Hong Kong, was able to top his group a number of times, before being overtaken for the lead by d’Ambrosio.

As the chequered flag was finally waved, di Grassi topped the group. Dragon Racing’s new signing “Pechito” López finished second, MS&AD Andretti driver Blomqvist came in third place; and d’Ambrosio and Lotterer finished in P4 and P5, respectively.

In Group 2, Maro Engel, Nico Prost, Sébastien Buemi, Alex Lynn, and Luca Filippi fought to make it to Super Pole but drivers in this group did not find the results expected, as none of them was able to climb up to P1.

Sébastien Buemi, highest ranked driver of the group, finished in P3 overall, followed by Lynn in P4, Filippi in P5, Engel in P7, and Prost in P8.

Group 3 reunited five drivers that have shined in the series’ recent history, as Sam Bird, Edoardo Mortara, Felix Rosenqvist, Nick Heidfeld, and Jean-Éric Vergne fought for a spot in Super Pole.

Vergne was able to set a quick pace early on in the group, but Rosenqvist quickly moved up to P1 overall with his incredibly fast speed at a track that saw the Swede score his first Formula E pole position back in 2016.

Nick Heidfeld crashed on a barrier, ending his qualifying stint in the worst way possible, as his car sustained damage. This complicated Mortara’s last qualifying lap, as the Swiss had to avoid the German in order to finish the lap.

As Rosenqvist finished P1 overall, DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird came in P5, Vergne in P9, Heidfeld P14, and Mortara P15.

Both Jaguar Racing drivers were in Group 4, along with NIO’s Oliver Turvey, Audi’s Daniel Abt, and MS&AD Andretti’s Antonio Felix da Costa.

Red flags were displayed as Antonio Felix da Costa’s car stopped on track, causing the Portuguese to retire from his qualifying group. Panasonic Jaguar Racing drivers could not find a good pace, with Piquet Jr. finishing in P7 and Evans in P8.

Abt and Turvey were given the chance of starting a qualifying lap again, as da Costa’s crash and later removal of the vehicle from the track, did not allow the German and the Briton to continue with their laps. The German was not able to make it to Super Pole, finishing P8, whilst Turvey finished P10.

Felix Rosenqvist, Lucas di Grassi, José María López, Sébastien Buemi, and Sam Bird were the five drivers to make it to Super Pole.

Bird was the first driver to go out on track, setting a time of 1:20.615. Season 2 champion Sébastien Buemi proceeded him, driving in Super Pole for the first time since the Berlin ePrix last season. The Swiss quickly moved up to P1, with a time of 1:20.355.

Dragon Racing’s José María López was the third driver to go for his Super Pole stint. He finished third, setting a time of 1:21.369. Reigning champion Lucas di Grassi headed out next. The Brazilian finished fourth, with a time of 1:21.444.

As Rosenqvist struggled on his qualifying lap, he only managed to finish in P3, with the pole position going to Sébastien Buemi. The Swiss, who struggled at the end of Season 3 and in the first two rounds of Season 4, overcame those difficulties to add another pole position to his successful Formula E career.

With Buemi starting on pole position, it is certain that the Swiss will fight to obtain his first win of the season; as well as the drivers behind him pushing hard to claim victory in African soil.

Super Pole:

4José MariaLOPEZ1.014
5LucasDI GRASSI1.089

Group Classification:

2LucasDI GRASSI0.199
3José MariaLOPEZ0.302
19Antonio FelixDA COSTA16.052

Andrea Perilli

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