Buemi takes pole ahead of di Grassi

by Scott Douglas

Sebastien Buemi took his first pole of the season ahead of championship rival Lucas di Grassi at the Monaco ePrix.

After dominating practice earlier in the day Buemi finally converted it in to a pole position having failed to do so at any of the four previous rounds.

Speaking afterwards Buemi said, “It’s been a long time since we had a pole position and to be honest we’ve worked very hard and couldn’t understand why we were not on the pace, so I’m very happy to convert FP1 pace into a good qualifying.”

It meant that there has now been a different driver on pole for every race of the season.

Di Grassi was a quarter of a second off the pace in the super pole shootout, just ahead of NextEV NIO’s Nelson Piquet Jr.

Di Grassi said that a small mistake on his final lap cost him, but he was still happy with his starting position.

“I did a good lap, just small mistake in the end, but overall I’m happy to be on the front row. Now we have to fight hard in the race, Monaco is hard to overtake but we’ll give it a go.”

Despite achieving the fastest time in the first section of qualifying, Jean-Eric Vergne was only able to qualify fourth, ahead of Maro Engel who made it to two shootouts in two races.

Having crashed out in practice Felix Rosenqvist managed to grab sixth, ahead of Jose Maria Lopez who passed a late fitness test having cracked two vertebrae in WEC.

Rosenqvist’s Mahindra Racing team-mate Nick Heidfeld was in eighth, ahead of Sam Bird, Daniel Abt and the second Venturi of Stephane Sarrazin.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of qualifying was the performance of Buemi’s Renault e.dams team-mate Nico Prost, whose error strewn effort left him down in nineteenth on the grid, and with a mammoth task ahead of him if he is to recover to the top ten.

1Sebastien BuemiSUIRenault e.dams53.313
2Lucas di GrassiBRAAbt Audi Schaeffler53.550
3Nelson Piquet JrBRANextEV TIO53.606
4Jean-Eric VergneFRATecheetah53.756
5Maro EngelGERVenturi55.013
6Felix RosenqvistSWEMahindra Racing53.609
7Jose Maria LopezARGDS Virgin Racing53.666
8Nick HeidfeldGERMahindra Racing53.687
9Daniel AbtGERAbt Audi Schaeffler53.725
10Sam BirdGBRDS Virgin Racing53.729
11Stephane SarrazinFRAVenturi53.846
12Loic DuvalFRAFF Dragon Racing53.929
13Robin FrijnsNEDMS Amlin Andretti54.034
14Esteban GutierrezMEXTecheetah54.097
15Mitch EvansNZLPanasonic Jaguar Racing54.115
16Oliver TurveyGBRNextEV TIO54.522
17Antonio Felix da CostaPORMS Amlin Andretti54.631
18Adam CarrollGBRPanasonic Jaguar Racing55.031
19Nico ProstFRARenault e.dams55.081
20Jerome d'AmbrosioBELFF Dragon Racing1m00.636

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