Vandoorne takes pole position in Sao Paulo with impressive performance
In an electrifying Formula E qualifying session in Sao Paulo, Stoffel Vandoorne secured his first pole position in almost a year, while points leader Pascal Wehrlein struggled to keep up.
In the Sao Paulo qualifying session, Stoffel Vandoorne, the current Formula E champion, achieved his first pole position in almost a year. Meanwhile, Pascal Wehrlein, who is leading in the 2023 points table, could only manage to be the 17th fastest, even before a penalty was imposed.
Vandoorne’s performance was noteworthy since he was only ranked 12th in the points table before the event and had qualified for the duels stage only once this season. This season has been challenging for him due to the new DS Penske alliance.
Stoffel Vandoorne was the fastest driver in Group A qualifying session in Sao Paulo, which resulted in his successful run through the knockout phases. In contrast, his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne was eliminated from the session.
Vandoorne easily advanced from his quarter-final match as Jake Hughes from McLaren went off the track, finishing almost three-quarters of a second behind. He then defeated Edoardo Mortara’s Maserati in their semi-final match.
At first, Stoffel Vandoorne was trailing behind Antonio Felix da Costa from Porsche in the final lap. However, he made up for the lost time in the last part of the lap and secured his eighth Formula E pole position by a mere 0.063s, posting a time of 1m11.904s.
Antonio Felix da Costa, who won the Cape Town race, continued his good form by securing a front-row start. This achievement was particularly impressive considering that the next best Porsche-powered car, Jake Dennis’s Andretti entry, could only manage a 14th place start. Da Costa’s appearance in the final followed his victory over Mitch Evans in their semi-final match.
Mitch Evans was leading Antonio Felix da Costa for most of the lap, but he lost time in the final sector. Despite managing to post a time that was two-tenths slower than his quarter-final time, he fell short of the Porsche driver’s time by 0.040s. In the earlier stages of the race, Evans had progressed to the semi-final by winning an all-Jaguar fourth quarter-final against Sam Bird.
Sam Bird, who had set the fastest time in the group stages, finished 0.194s behind his teammate in the quarter-final. Nevertheless, he was the quickest among the losing quarter-finalists.
However, due to a five-place grid penalty resulting from his involvement in a Hyderabad crash, which was carried over from Cape Town since he could not start that race, Bird will start from the 10th position. Therefore, Nick Cassidy will take up the fifth position for Envision, ahead of Jake Hughes.
Sergio Sette Camara will begin the race in the seventh position, following an unusual qualifying session at his home Formula E race. The Brazilian driver caused the Group A session to be interrupted due to a red flag, as he stopped on the track.
However, he was able to restart his car and return to the pits, after which he rejoined the session and posted the fifth-fastest time.
Initially, Sergio Sette Camara’s fifth-fastest time appeared to have been deleted due to his penalty for causing the red flag. As a result, he was initially shown to be starting in the 16th position on the combined grid. However, the official provisional qualifying classification later showed him in the ninth position. After applying penalties for Bird and Maximilian Guenther, Sette Camara’s position will become seventh.
Norman Nato was placed fifth in the Group B session, allowing him to start the race in eighth position, which is the best starting position for the Nissan team. He will be followed by Guenther, who received a three-place drop for overtaking under yellow flags in Cape Town, and Bird.
Despite being the championship leader, Pascal Wehrlein struggled to secure a place in the knockout phase of qualifying, finishing more than three-tenths off the required pace.
He could only manage the ninth-fastest time in Group A, and will begin the race from the second-to-last row on the grid due to his own penalty that was carried over from Cape Town. The penalty was imposed due to his collision with Sebastien Buemi.
Wehrlein will start in the 20th position, next to Robin Frijns, who has returned to the race after a four-race injury layoff.
Lucas di Grassi had a disappointing qualifying session in front of his home crowd. He hit the wall on the inside of the track before the second part of the Turns 7 and 8 double-right-hander, causing damage to his Mahindra’s front-right suspension. As a result, he could not set a time.
Although Lucas di Grassi managed to return his car to the pits, he did not rejoin the session and will consequently start from the last position on the grid, 22nd place.
Mahindra team principal Frederic Bertrand commented on di Grassi’s incident, stating that the driver had hit the wall and damaged the front of his car on his first lap.
Bertrand expressed his disappointment, believing that di Grassi could have secured a good starting position. However, he also expressed his confidence that the Brazilian driver would be determined to perform well and make his way up from the back of the grid, giving the local fans something to cheer about during the race.
The results of the qualifying session for the Sao Paulo E-Prix.
Cla Driver Team Time 1 Stoffel Vandoorne DS Penske 1’11.904 2 Antonio Felix da Costa Porsche Team 1’11.967 3 Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing 1’12.022 4 Edoardo Mortara Maserati Racing 1’12.109 5 Sam Bird Jaguar Racing 1’12.037 6 Nick Cassidy Envision Racing 1’12.150 7 Jake Hughes McLaren 1’12.657 8 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Penske 1’13.157 9 Norman Nato Nissan e.dams 1’12.971 10 Maximilian Gunther Maserati Racing 1’12.189 11 René Rast McLaren 1’13.161 12 Sébastien Buemi Envision Racing 1’12.971 13 Nico Müller Team Abt 1’13.200 14 Jake Dennis Andretti Autosport 1’12.991 15 Sacha Fenestraz Nissan e.dams 1’13.040 16 Sergio Sette Camara NIO Formula E Team 1’13.307 17 Dan Ticktum NIO Formula E Team 1’13.045 18 Pascal Wehrlein Porsche Team 1’13.280 19 Oliver Rowland Mahindra Racing 1’13.330 20 Robin Frijns Team Abt 1’13.671 21 Andre Lotterer Andretti Autosport 1’13.382 22 Lucas di Grassi Mahindra Racing 1’24.491
Vandoorne takes pole position in Sao Paulo with impressive performance Vandoorne takes pole position in Sao Paulo with impressive performance Vandoorne takes pole position in Sao Paulo with impressive performance
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