Di Grassi on pole as Buemi penalised

by Scott Douglas

Lucas di Grassi secured a brilliant pole position as he pipped title rival Sebastien Buemi by a tenth and half in the first round of the Montreal ePrix.

Despite finishing in second, Buemi will start from twelfth after receiving a grid penalty for a battery change following a big crash in free practice two.

And with three points for pole position, it means that di Grassi has reduced the lead at the top to just seven points, meaning a race win should take him to level on points with Buemi at worst.

Despite saying he was pleased with how he drove in qualifying Buemi admitted he had a tough task ahead of him in the race.

He said, “Yeah, I’m pleased with that lap but I’m already thinking about the car. I’m going to get a ten place grid penalty because of change of battery, so just trying to do my best in qualifying and recover it in the race, but it’s not looking so good.

“It’s not going to be easy to overtake all those guys.”

His penalty means that Stephane Sarrazin will start on the front row, as he turned around a poor practice session to get into the superpole shootout.

Nico Prost and Felix Rosenqvist will take up the second row, with Buemi no doubt hoping that his Renault e.dams team-mate can do him some favours in his battle with di Grassi.

Jean-Eric Vergne was just behind those two, and it was a brilliant qualifying session for Panasonic Jaguar Racing with Mitch Evans and Adam Carroll starting sixth and seventh respectively.

Three different teams filled out the rest of the top ten, with the NextEV TIO of Oliver Turvey in eighth, the Venturi of Tom Dillman in ninth, and Loic Duval will start in tenth for FF Dragon Racing.

Further down it was a disastrous qualifying session for DS Virgin Racing.

Coming off the back of back-to-back wins in New York, neither car was able to deploy full power in their final qualifying laps, and they’ll start in sixteenth and eighteenth as a result.

1Lucas di GrassiBRAAbt Schaeffler Audi1:22.869
2Sebastien BuemiSUIRenault e.dams1:23.065
3Stephane SarrazinFRATecheetah1:23.179
4Nico ProstFRARenault e.dams1:23.330
5Felix RosenqvistSWEMahindra Racing1:24.351
6Jean-Eric VergneFRATecheetah1:23.398
7Mitch EvansNZLPanasonic Jaguar Racing1:23.532
8Adam CarrollGBRPanasonic Jaguar Racing1:23.869
9Oliver TurveyGBRNextEV TIO1:23.923
10Tom DillmanFRAVenturi1:23.931
11Loic DuvalFRAFF Dragon Racing1:23.999
12Daniel AbtGERAbt Schaeffler Audi1:24.302
13Robin FrijnsNEDMS Amlin Andretti1:24.622
14Nick HeidfeldGERMahindra Racing1:24.769
15Antonio Felix da CostaPORMS Amlin Andretti1:24.805
16Jose Maria LopezARGDS Virgin Racing1:25.297
17Maro EngelGERVenturi1:25.369
18Sam BirdGBRDS Virgin Racing1:25.770
19Nelson Piquet JrBRANextEV TIO1:26.165
20Jerome d'AmbrosioBELFF Dragon Racing1:36.580

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