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Close up photo of Sacha Fenestraz in his Nissan Formula E car whilst it's in the garage. He is wearing a helmet but his eyes are visible

Fenestraz beats Guenther to maiden pole

Sacha Fenestraz claims his maiden Formula E pole position in qualifying for the Cape Town E-Prix. 

The Nissan driver beat Maximillian Guenther in the final duel, after topping the first qualifying group. 

Group Stages

The group stages ended under a red flag after heavy collisions for Edoardo Mortara and Sam Bird. 

The pair, out in the second qualifying group, both ran into trouble at Turn 9 – the same corner that caught out Sebastien Buemi in free practice. The red flag was brought out, bringing an end to the session. 

Group A ran without issue. A small error for Jake Hughes meant the McLaren driver tapped the wall, but was able to continue qualifying. He missed out on a spot in the duels, though, qualifying eighth in the session. 

It was Sacha Fenestraz who set the pace with a 1m08.994s lap. Nick Cassidy was just 0.013s back in second, with Pascal Wehrlein and Jean-Eric Vergne also progressing through to the duels. 

In Group B, Mitch Evans set the pace early on, but was knocked down to second as Rene Rast set his quickest lap. The McLaren driver ended qualifying with a time of 1.08.844s. 

The field was pushing hard on their final laps of the session when Mortara lost control of his car at Turn 9. He hit the wall at speed and, like Buemi in FP1, continued down the track a short way. Moments later, Sam Bird had an almost identical incident, hitting the wall before continuing on and hitting Mortara at speed. 

Both drivers were able to get out of the cars unaided. 

Those behind on track were forced to abandon their laps and no more improvements came.  

Buemi and Maximillian Guenther took the final two spots in the duels. 

There was an absence of any Mahindra powered cars in qualifying. The Indian manufacturer and customer team ABT were forced to withdraw from the South African race due to a rear suspension issue that Mahindra is currently investigating.  


Sacha Fenestraz went head-to-head with Jean-Eric Vergne in the quarter finals, beating the two-time champion by a little under six tenths of a second. He then went head-to-head with Nick Cassidy. The gap in the semi-final was smaller, but Fenestraz just head the edge over the Envision driver. 

Guenther’s journey to the final started with a head-to-head with Rene Rast. He beat the McLaren driver by 0.1s. The Maserati driver then went up against Mitch Evans. Guenther was quickest in the first part of the lap, but Evans appeared to be catching until a small mistake at Turn 9. 

In the final, Fenestraz and Guenther were evenly matched, but Fenestraz just had the edge. He became the first driver to go under the 1m08s mark, lapping at 1m07.848s and taking his maiden pole position. 

Guenther takes second, ahead of Cassidy and Evans. 

Vergne was the quickest of those out in the quarter finals and starts fifth ahead of Wehrlein. Rene Rast qualified seventh but has a three place grid penalty carried over from Hyderabad. 

The penalty moves Sebastien Buemi up to P7. 

Just missing out on a spot in the duels, Dan Ticktum takes eighth on the grid. Sam Bird qualified 10th overall, but is also expected to take a five place grid penalty for causing a collision in Hyderabad. The penalty would move Norman Nato to ninth on the grid, ahead of Rast. 

Bethonie Waring

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