The Renault e.dams machine of Sebastien Buemi will start the second New York City ePrix of the weekend on pole position in a weather-affected qualifying session for the final race of the 2017-18 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
The Renault driver will start just ahead of the two Techeetah cars of Andre Lotterer and newly-crowned season four champion, Jean-Eric Vergne, to give the Chinese-based team a grid advantage over Audi in their battle for the teams title. The Audi duo of Daniel Abt and Lucas Di Grassi will start fourth and fifth respectively, with yesterday’s race winner, Di Grassi crashing on his Super Pole run due to changeable weather conditions.
The first qualifying group saw Stephane Sarrazin top the session for the MS&AD Andretti Formula E team, who was ahead of the Venturi of Tom Dillmann, who after impressing yesterday made a mistake into the first corner which cost the Frenchman the best part of half a second. They were ahead of the Renault of Nico Prost and the DS Virgin Racing entry of Alex Lynn. Meanwhile, Ma Qing Hua made a mistake into the middle sector which damaged his car which put him down onto the last row of the grid for the Nio Formula E Team.
The second qualifying group saw the top five in the championship head to the track with the Audi pair of Di Grassi and Abt going first and third respectively, with Buemi going second ahead of season four champion Vergne who went fourth and Sam Bird slotting into fifth place respectively, but due to later improvements will start the E-Prix from eighth place.
The third qualifying group was a bizarre session with Jose Maria Lopez, Jerome d’ Ambrosio and Nick Heidfeld qualifying eleventh to thirteenth places respectively, with Maro Engel only seventeenth for the Venturi team. Meanwhile, Antonio Felix Da Costa suffered a drivetrain issue that has relegated him to the back of the grid for the last race of the season.
The final qualifying group saw Lotterer put himself third for Techeetah, while the two Jaguars of Mitch Evans and Nelson Piquet Jr. qualifying sixth and seventh respectively while Felix Rosenqvist went ninth for Mahindra as the Indian team continues to endure a terrible time of things.
The five to go into super-pole were Vergne, Abt, Lotterer, Buemi and Di Grassi respectively. Vergne set the inital pace at a 1 min 18.0, which was not bettered by Daniel Abt, going a tenth of a second slower than the Frenchman. Then, Lotterer went two-hundreths quicker than his French team-mate.
But after taking pole for the first race in New York on Saturday, Buemi took top spot once more, going half a tenth quicker than the Techeetah duo. But then in the opening sector of the lap, Di Grassi damaged his Audi while exploiting the levels of grip around the Brooklyn Street Circuit which means that he will start from the third row of the grid for this afternoon’s season-concluding New York City E-Prix.