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Vandoorne takes pole in Rome

Stoffel Vandoorne claims his first pole position of the season as Nissan’s Oliver Rowland hit the wall on his Super Pole lap.

Rowland topped the group stages and looked set to snatch the top spot from provisional pole sitter Vandoorne when he hit the wall in the final sector. He was able to get to the finish line, bt the sector was half a second slower than Vandoorne’s and he ended qualifying 0.405s behind the pole sitter.

Andre Lotterer took P2 after setting the second fastest time in the group stages.

Lucas Di Grassi will start fourth ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne.

Maximilian Gunther was the only driver in the final qualifying group to make it through to the Super Pole shootout, having finished sixth in the group stages. He remained P6 after the shootout, but a five place grid penalty for an incident in Saudi Arabia drops him down to P11.

Robin Frijns, who was out in the first qualifying group, narrowly missed out on a spot in Super Pole and will start sixth, ahead of championship leader Nyck de Vries and Pascal Wehrlein.

Diriyah race winner Sam Bird qualified 11th but will start P10 due to Gunther’s penalty.

A number of drivers brushed the wall during the session, including Sebastien Buemi, who took P10, and Antonio Felix Da Costa, who starts P18. Of those, only Nick Cassidy suffered significant damage. Out in the final qualifying group, he hit the wall at the exit of the chicane and couldn’t complete his lap.

He starts P20, alongside Rene Rast who span on his flying lap.

Edoardo Mortara couldn’t get out of the pits in time to do a flying lap and will start P23, while Oliver Turvey didn’t get out at all after his FP1 crash. Turvey is set to start from the pit lane for causing the collision and received six penalty points.

Bethonie Waring

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