Vergne to start from back after qualifying penalty


Vergne to start from back after qualifying penalty - Formula E
Credit: Formula E

Jean-Eric Vergne’s attempts to win the Formula E driver’s title took a blow after he was relegated to the back of the grid following a penalty in qualifying at the New York ePrix.

The Frenchman was top of the standings after his timed lap with team-mate Andre Lotterer in second place going into the super pole shootout.

But both had their efforts wiped out after stewards penalised them for overusing their maximum power.

The only crumb of comfort for Vergne is that title rival Sam Bird will only start in fourteenth after he said his lap was ruined by the unusually high levels of dust on the Brooklyn track.

It was Sebastien Buemi who gained most from the problem suffered by the Techeetah drivers, as he qualified for super pole and set the fastest time by over half a second from Mitch Evans.

Buemi’s team-mate Nico Prost will start in third in a much improved performance from the Frenchman during his last weekend with the e.dams team.

Jerome d’Ambrosio will start in fourth ahead of Daniel Abt after the Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler driver suffered a huge lock up on his super pole lap when he looked like he could challenge Buemi for pole.

Nelson Piquet Jr once again was the slower of the Panasonic Jaguar Racing drivers but will start in sixth, ahead of Jose Maria Lopez in the other Dragon and both Venturi drivers with Maro Engel in eighth and Tom Dillmann in ninth.

Nick Heidfeld will start in tenth for Mahindra Racing, although it was another poor showing for the team as team-mate Felix Rosenqvist could only manage the sixteenth fastest time even after both Techeetah’s were relegated to the back of the grid.

And there was no time set by Oliver Turvey as the British NIO driver sat out qualifying after reportedly breaking his wrist after a crash in free practice two.