Paris ePrix: Vergne stretches points lead with pole
Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne claimed pole position at the Paris ePrix as he edged out closest Formula E championship challenger Sam Bird.
Vergne and DS Virgin driver Bird made it through to Super Pole running despite having to run in the first group qualifying phase.
Bird held provisional pole following a smooth effort around the Circuit des Invalides on his Super Pole effort, but Vergne surged ahead in all three sectors during his own final flying lap.
The French driver ended up 0.277s clear at the top of the times as he claimed his fourth pole of the 2017/18 campaign, although he was later fined €1,000 for speeding in the pitlane during qualifying.
Andre Lotterer qualified third, 0.343s adrift of his Techeetah teammate, after making it through to Super Pole despite appearing to clip the wall with the rear of his car during the second group running.
Maro Engel qualified fourth for Venturi, the best FE grid spot of his career so far, ahead of Andretti’s Antonio Felix da Costa – who was second behind Vergne after the group running had been completed.
Da Costa ended up 1.661s slower than Vergne’s Super Pole effort after losing time going wide at the exit of Turn 3.
Reigning FE champion Lucas Di Grassi will start sixth after being pushed out of Super Pole by Engel’s lap-gasp improvement in final segment of the group qualifying phase.
Jerome d’Ambrosio qualified seventh for Dragon Racing ahead of Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi by just 0.001s. Oliver Turvey ended up ninth for NIO, with Jose Maria Lopez - later hit with an €800 fine for the same infraction as Vergne - rounding out the top 10 for Dragon.
Felix Rosenqvist, who has qualified on pole in two of the previous three rounds, could only set the 11th quickest time as he struggled for grip early on during his flying lap in the first group running.
Jaguar driver Mitch Evans qualified 14th fastest, but he will drop to the rear of the grid thanks to the 10-place grid drop he was handed for taking a new gearbox ahead of the Paris event. As he cannot drop the full 10 places, Evans will have to serve a five-second time penalty at his car swap.
Edoardo Mortara had qualified in 18th, but he will start 19th after being hit with a three-place grid penalty for speeding under the red flag in FP2.
Nelson Piquet Jr will start in front in both of Evans and Mortara despite the fact he could not take part in qualifying after crashing in both practice sessions.
|2||Sam Bird||Virgin Racing||1'01.421||0.277|
|5||Antonio Felix da Costa||Andretti Autosport||1'02.805||1.661|
|6||Lucas di Grassi||Team Abt||1'01.823||0.679|
|7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1'01.836||0.692|
|9||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||1'01.888||0.744|
|10||Jose Maria Lopez||Dragon Racing||1'01.902||0.758|
|11||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1'02.012||0.868|
|12||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1'02.058||0.914|
|14||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||1'02.122||0.978|
|15||Daniel Abt||Team Abt||1'02.125||0.981|
|16||Alex Lynn||Virgin Racing||1'02.139||0.995|
|17||Tom Blomqvist||Andretti Autosport||1'02.823||1.679|
|19||Ma Qing Hua||NIO Formula E Team||1'02.998||1.854|
|20||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Jaguar Racing||no time||-|
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