Bird grabs maiden pole; Buemi to start last after spin

Sam Bird secured his maiden FIA Formula E pole position around the streets of Buenos Aires, but championship leader Sebastien Buemi has it all to do in the race after a spin means he qualified eighteenth and last.

Bird took top spot in the five-car pole position shootout, with the DS Virgin Racing driver setting a time of 1m09.420s, which was 0.331s faster than Nicolas Prost of e.DAMS Renault.

Antonio Felix da Costa impressed to qualify on the second row of the grid for Team Aguri, a result made even more impressive when his team are one of only two teams still using season one technology.

Venturi duo Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway, the latter on his Formula E debut after replacing Jacques Villeneuve, were the final two drivers to make it through to the pole position shoot-out, with the Frenchman qualifying fourth after his final lap was less scruffy than his British team-mate.

Robin Frijns managed to avoid breaking down for the third consecutive session and wound up qualifying sixth for Andretti Autosport, just missing out on making it through to the pole shootout.

Audi Sport Abt drivers Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt will share row four, while reigning champion Nelson Piquet Jr enjoyed his best qualifying performance of the season in ninth for NEXTEV TCR, just ahead of Punto del Este polesitter Jerome d’Ambrosio of Dragon Racing.

But the biggest talking point of the session came when Sebastien Buemi spun his e.DAMS machine during his hot lap, meaning the current championship leader will start last, behind even Bruno Senna and Salvador Duran, who both crashed out on their flying laps. Mahindra Racing’s Senna will line-up sixteenth, ahead of Team Aguri returnee Duran, with both drivers setting better 170kw laps than Buemi.

Jean-Eric Vergne took to the track for the first time on Saturday following his recovery from food poisoning, but could only set the fifteenth fastest time in his DS Virgin Racing entry.

Buenos Aires ePrix Qualifying Result

12Sam BirdGBRVirgin Racing Formula E Team1m09.420s
28Nicolas ProstFRAe.dams Renault Formula E Team1m09.751s
355Antonio Felix da CostaPORAmlin Aguri Formula E Team1m09.761s
44Stephane SarrazinFRAVenturi Formula E Team1m10.298s
512Mike ConwayGBRVenturi Formula E Team1m12.391s
627Robin FrijnsNEDAndretti Autosport Formula E Team1m09.616s
711Lucas di GrassiBRZAudi Sport ABT Formula E Team1m09.677s
866Daniel AbtGERAudi Sport ABT Formula E Team1m09.814s
91Nelson Piquet JrBRZNEXTEV TCR Formula E Team1m09.931s
107Jerome D'AmbrosioBELDragon Racing Formula E Team1m10.067s
1188Oliver TurveyGBRNEXTEV TCR Formula E Team1m10.126s
126Loic DuvalFRADragon Racing Formula E Team1m10.130s
1323Nick HeidfeldGERMahindra Racing Formula E Team1m10.321s
1428Simona de SilvestroSWIAndretti Autosport Formula E Team1m10.446s
1525Jean-Eric VergneFRAVirgin Racing Formula E Team1m10.581s
1621Bruno SennaBRZMahindra Racing Formula E Team1m11.306s
1777Salvador DuranMEXTeam Aguri Formula E Team1m13.256s
189Sebastien BuemiSWIe.dams Renault Formula E Team1m19.421s