Vergne grabs pole in Berlin; Di Grassi down in tenth.


Jean-Eric Vergne stuck his DS Virgin Racing car on pole for the Berlin ePrix by just 0.016 seconds over the Renault e.dams of Sebastien Buemi.

Buemi himself was just 0.025s faster than third placed Daniel Abt in what turned out to be an enthralling qualifying session.

The biggest shock was Lucas di Grassi’s inability to make it into the super pole shoot-out. The championship leader had a fairly clean lap, but it would only put him tenth, meaning he was out qualified by his team-mate for the first time since this season.

Di Grassi’s lack of pace left the door open for championship rival Buemi to capitalise, and he seemed like a sure bet for pole after cruising to the fastest time in the first part of qualifying.

This pace abandoned him in his shoot-out run though, as he lost half a second and with it the three points for pole that would have seen him reduce the gap at the top of the championship to just eight points.

Behind the front three there was cause for celebration at Mahindra Racing as they managed to get both cars in the top five for the first time. They didn’t manage to make the most of it though, as Nick Heidfeld clipped the wall in his final run, and Bruno Senna struggled with a gearbox problem.

Behind them Sam Bird just missed out on the top five, with an impressive showing from NextEV TCR meaning they sandwiched Nico Prost, as reigning series champions Nelson Piquet Jr finished seventh, and Oliver Turvey ninth.

It was a disappointing run for Dragon Racing as Loic Duval and Jerome d’Ambrosio could only manage eleventh and twelfth respectively. The Venturi cars also saw their recent pace evaporate as Mike Conway qualified fourteenth and Stephane Sarrazin fifteenth.

New boy Rene Rast meanwhile qualified seventeenth on his debut, but was still ahead of his team-mate Ma Qing Hua.

Berlin ePrix Qualifying Result

POSDRIVERNATTEAMTIME  
1Jean-Eric VergneFRADS Virgin Racing57.811
2Sebastien BuemiSWIRenault e.dams57.827
3Daniel AbtGERAbt Schaeffler Audi Sport57.852
4Bruno SennaBRAMahindra Racing58.303
5Nick HeidfeldGERMahindra Racing59.085
6Sam BirdGBRDS Virgin Racing57.838
7Nelson Piquet JnrBRANextEV TCR58.026
8Nico ProstFRARenault e.dams58.028
9Oliver TurveyGBRNextEV TCR58.118
10Lucas di GrassiBRAAbt Schaeffler Audi Sport58.183
11Loic DuvalFRADragon Racing58.298
12Jerome d'AmbrosioBELDragon Racing58.501
13Simona de SilvestroSWIAndretti58.654
14Mike ConwayGBRVenturi58.687
15Stephane SarrazinFRAVenturi58.740
16Robin FrijnsNEDAndretti58.742
17Rene RastGERTeam Aguri58.756
18Ma Qing HuaCHITeam Aguri59.301