Antonio Felix Da Costa has claimed his first FIA Formula E pole position of the 2021-22 season.
The Techeetah driver went head-to-head with Venturi’s Eduardo Mortara in the final shoot-out. His time of 1m17.070s was 0.081s quicker than Mortara but enough to earn pole position.
Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne suffered a difficult qualifying session. Out in the first group, he struggled to match the pace of Mortara, who topped the group, and finished last in the group. A penalty for Andre Lotterer, who failed to set a time in the first six minutes of the session, promotes Vandoorne to the penultimate row of the grid, but he will have many cars to pass before he reaches his championship rivals.
Mortara was quickest in Group A ahead of Nick Cassidy and the Andretti Autosport duo of Jake Dennis and Oliver Askew. It had been a mixed weekend for Dennis so far, having failed to head out in FP1 and having a power train change overnight. Neither Andretti driver made it past the quarter finals, but it remained the best qualifying session for the team this season.
In Group B, there was an issue for Antonio Giovinazzi, who had suspension damage and a right rear puncture which prevented him from heading out.
Jean-Eric Vergne set the pace in the first half of the session ahead of Da Costa and Mitch Evans. There were few improvements in the second round of laps, but Da Costa managed to leap-frog his team-mate to top the times. Pascal Wehrlein jumped up the order to take third, knocking Nyck de Vries out of the top 10.
Da Costa went head to head with Askew in the quarter finals, beating the Andretti driver by more than three tenths of a second. It was then another Techeetah shoot out as he went against Vergne. The two were evently matched, but a small mistake for Vergne at turn 10 gave Da Costa the edge. They were seperated by just 0.026s at the line with Da Costa head.
Mortara’s path to the finals started with a match against Evans. He set the fastest time of qualifying in the duel with a time of 1m17.002s. He then beat Pascal Wehrlein to make it to the finals.
Jean-Eric Vergne will line up third on the grid ahead of Wehrlein and Dennis, who was quickest of those out in the quarter finals.
Evans, Askew and Cassidy completed the top eight, with De Vries and Di Grassi rounding out the top 10.
Sebastien Buemi qualified 14th but will start P17 after a penalty for making contact with de Vries during practice.