SŽebastien Buemi, Nissan EDams, Formula E, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

Buemi masters gripless New York course for pole position

Formula E

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Sebastien Buemi has taken the first pole position of Formula E’s double-header finale weekend, on a developing and extremely low-grip New York track.

Formula E tracks are often dusty and unpredictable, compared to conventional circuits but an exceptionally dusty and baking hot Red Hook saw drivers in earlier groups heavily disadvantaged – and all of the top five in the championship out of Super Pole contention.

Group One: Jean-Eric Vergne, Lucas di Grassi, Mitch Evans, Andre Lotterer, Antonio Felix da Costa

The visibly dusty track put Group One at a disadvantage, under baking hot sun and with what title leader Jean-Eric Vergne described as “no grip at all” on the tight street track.

Times were uncompetitive enough that Vergne commiserated not only with his own teammate Lotterer but closest title rival Di Grassi, no realistic super pole hope from the first group.

Qualifying 1

PositionDriverTeamTime
1Antonio Felix da CostaBMWi Andretti1’10.845
2Jean-Eric VergneDS Techeetah1’10.933
3Mitch EvansPanasonic Jaguar1’11.065
4Lucas di GrassiAudi1’11.080
5Andre LottererDS Techeetah1’11.222

Group Two: Robin Frijns, Sebastien Buemi, Daniel Abt, Sam Bird, Jerome D’Ambrosio

All five drivers immediately looked set to beat Da Costa’s time comfortably, however, a spin for D’Ambrosio cost him severely and left him almost certainly destined to line up last in the race.

Sam Bird, not mathematically in the title fight at the final rounds for the first time in Formula E history and double race-winner in New York during Season 3, was not quite able to beat Sebastien Buemi’s time to both go several tenths clear into provisional Super Pole.

Qualifying 2

PositionDriverTeamTime
1Sebastien BuemiNissan e.Dams1’10.556
2Sam BirdEnvision Virgin1’10.588
3Daniel AbtAudi1’10.761
4Robin FrijnsEnvision Virgin1’10.854
5Jerome D’AmbrosioMahindra1’18.262

Group Three: Oliver Rowland, Edoardo Mortara, Pascal Wehrlein, Felipe Massa, Stoffel Vandoorne, Alexander Sims

Although extremely mixed in times, compared to Group Two, Wehrlein and Sims were able to push Vergne out of provisional Super Pole, forcing the championship leader out of any further qualifying.

Vandoorne lost grip and skimmed the wall towards the end of his lap, while a big mistake from Felipe Massa saw him well out of contention.

Qualifying 3

PositionDriverTeamTime
1Pascal WehrleinMahindra1’10.589
2Alexander SimsBMWi Andretti1’10.590
3Edoardo MortaraVenturi1’11.326
4Stoffel VandoorneHWA AG1’11.449
5Oliver RowlandNissan e.Dams1’11.605
6Felipe MassaVenturi1’14.862

Group Four: Maximilian Guenther, Alex Lynn, Gary Paffett, Oliver Turvey, Jose-Maria Lopez, Tom Dillman

Qualifying 4

PositionDriverTeamTime
1Alex LynnJaguar1’10.669
2Jose-Maria LopezGEOX Dragon1’10.836
3Maximilian GuentherGEOX Dragon1’11.005
4Tom DillmanNIO1’11.006
5Gary PaffettHWA AG1’11.095
6Oliver TurveyNIO1’11.413

Super Pole: Sebastien Buemi, Sam Bird, Pascal Wehrlein, Alexander Sims, Alex Lynn, Daniel Abt

A mistake for Sam Bird meant it briefly looked as though Wehrlein could take pole on his New York debut, after narrowly beating an impressive lap from Alex Lynn.

However Sebastien Buemi – whose win-less streak has continued now for almost two entire seasons – was not to be denied the top spot and went four tenths clear of any other driver to secure the first pole of the finale.

Vergne, starting 10th on the grid, needs a podium finish to close the title before tomorrow’s race.

Final Qualifying

PositionDriverTeamTime
1Sebastien BuemiNissan e.Dams1’10.188
2Pascal WehrleinMahindra1’10.600
3Alex LynnPanasonic Jaguar1’10.696
4Daniel AbtAudi1’10.894
5Alexander SimsBMWi Andretti1’10.899
6Sam BirdEnvision Virgin1’11.094
7Jose Maria LopezGEOX Dragon1’10.836
8Antonio Felix da CostaBMWi Andretti1’10.845
9Robin FrijnsEnvision Virgin1’10.854
10Jean-Eric VergneDS Techeetah1’10.933
11Maximilian GuentherGEOX Dragon1’11.005
12Tom DillmannNIO1’11.006
13Mitch EvansPanasonic Jaguar1’11.065
14Lucas di GrassiAudi1’11.080
15Gary PaffettHWA AG1’11.095
16Andre LottererDS Techeetah1’11.222
17Edoardo MortaraVenturi1’11.326
18Oliver TurveyNIO1’11.413
19Stoffel VandoorneHWA AG1’11.449
20Oliver RowlandNissan e.Dams1’11.605
21Felipe MassaVenturi1’14.826
22Jerome D’AmbrosioMahindra1’18.262

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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