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Sebastien Buemi in his Envision Formula E car

Buemi takes Formula E record with 16th pole position

Sebastien Buemi reclaims the record for most Formula E pole positions after beating Sam Bird in the finals ahead of the Berlin E-Prix. 

He becomes the first driver to take two pole positions in 2023, ending a run of nine different pole sitters from nine races. 

Bird, who topped the second group session, starts second ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne. 

Group Stages

Vandoorne was the quickest in the first qualifying group.  

The DS Penske driver set the pace early on, but had his first flying lap beaten by Buemi. The Envision driver didn’t stay top of the order for long, though, with Vandoorne lowering the benchmark to 1m05.978s. 

The time wasn’t beaten in the second half of qualifying, with few improvements coming as drivers completed their final laps. 

One of the only late improvers was Sergio Sette Camara who snuck into the duels with a time just 0.226s slower than Vandoorne, placing him fourth behind Nick Cassidy. 

Evans narrowly missed out on the duels, 0.061s behind Camara, while championship leader Pascal Wehrlein could only manage eighth in his group. 

In Group B, Maximilian Guenther went fastest early on before being beaten by Sam Bird. As in Group A, there were few improvements late on.  

DS driver Jean-Eric Vergne looked set for an improvement before a wide moment on his final lap scuppered his chances. 

Bird, however, was able to improve, lowering the benchmark to 1m05.975s. Guenther stayed second ahead of Ticktum and Jake Dennis. 


Buemi’s trip to the finals started with a head-to-head against team-mate Nick Cassdy, who he beat by 0.078s. He then went up against Vandoorne. Beating the DS driver meant he equalled the record for most front row starts, securing his 23rd time of starting at the front of the field. 

Meanwhile, Sam Bird took on Jake Dennis, beating the championship front runner by 0.061s, and Dan Ticktum, who he beat by 0.135s. 

In the final duel, the two Formula E veterans were evenly matched, but it was Buemi who just had the edge over the course of the lap. He managed a time of 1m05.605s. It was the slowest time Buemi had set in the duels, but more than a tenth quicker than Bird. 

Pole position means he moves one point ahead of Bird in the championship standings. 

Vandoorne will start third ahead of Ticktum, Dennis and Cassidy. A mistake for Guenther in his quarter final run meant he was the slowest of those knocked out in the quarter finals and will line up eighth, just behind Sergio Sette Camara. 

Mitch Evans will start ninth, ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne. Championship leader Wehrlein starts P15.  

Bethonie Waring

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