Vergne grabs Miami ePrix pole

by Tom Errington

Andretti Formula E Team’s Jean-Eric Vergne took his second Formula E pole for the Miami ePrix after seeing off a late challenge from China Racing’s Nelson Piquet Jr.

Finishing just 0.050secs behind Vergne’s lap of 1min 05.963secs, the duo beat the seemingly impenetrable time set by e.dams-Renault’s Nico Prost and his lap of 1min 06.167secs in the first qualifying group.

Prost’s pace proved too much for the second group, with Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird proving his nearest challenger with a time of 1min 06.170secs that eventually secured fourth on the grid behind Prost.

Fifth saw Audi Sport ABT’s Daniel Abt, with the German battling with Bird before falling less than 0.1sec short with his best of 1min 06.255secs.

Venturi GP’s Stephane Sarrazin proved impressive in the third group, and while unable to match Piquet Jr’s pace in the ten minute run, he consistently charged up the order to take a best of 1min 06.389secs for sixth.

Lucas di Grassi has often proved just as impressive as Prost in qualifying, but Miami proved to be one of his more difficult sessions.

The Brazilian couldn’t match title rival Sam Bird’s pace, or team-mate Abt, in group two and took a final starting position of eighth after setting a 1min 06.424secs lap.

Jaime Alguersuari once again proved unable to get as much out of the Virgin Racing car as Bird and only managed to pip Venturi GP’s Nick Heidfeld for ninth.

His time of 1min 06.503secs beat Heidfeld’s 1min 06.510secs lap despite suspicions that the German may have exceeded the power usage as his car appears set for investigation.

It could end disappointingly for Heidfeld, joining the likes of Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna and e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi who both fell outside the top ten, 14th and 17th respectively, after mistakes ended their best chance of fast laps.

The most surprising disappointment proved to be Punta del Este race winner Antonio Felix da Costa who could only muster 18th in his Amlin Aguri car.

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