The Jewel in the Crown that is Principality of Monaco delivered a thrilling qualifying session on the first visit of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship to the full Circuit de Monaco track: Antonio Felix Da Costa (DS Techeetah) was the polesitter, with Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing), Mitch Evans (Jaguar Racing), and Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah) less than six hundredths of a second behind him.
The DS Techeetah team delivered performance today, putting both their cars in the top six positions of group qualifying. It allowed them both to be in Superpole, granting them the best chances to score a good amount of points in the race later. The DS Techeetah team are fourth in the Formula E team championship, one point behind Envision Virgin Racing.
Track evolution did not play as much of a factor as it has in previous races, as eleven drivers have less than half a second gap with the driver on pole position and only Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ Formula E) and Sergio Sette Camara (Dragon/Penske Autosport) have more than a second gap with the leader.
Robin Frijns is the highest-placed driver outside of the top five contenders in the drivers’ championship, starting the race in second place, 0.012 seconds behind Antonio Felix Da Costa. He was the leader in group qualifying, so he will gain one point in the championship, effectively passing Sam Bird (Jaguar Racing) for third place, for now. Frijns’ teammate Nick Cassidy, who entered the championship only six races ago and scored pole position in Rome Round four, qualified seventh for this Monaco race. The Envision Virgin team could score a good amount of points as well this race.
It was mixed qualifying results for the Jaguar squad, as Mitch Evans will start in third but his teammate Sam Bird is down in fifteenth place. Bird was affected by a collision with driver’s championship leader Nyck De Vries (Mercedes-EQ), who said he had an issue with his car that lost him the full 250 kWh lap performance. Stoffel Vandoorne, De Vries’s teammate and second-place driver in the driver’s championship, is just ahead of Sam Bird.
Sette Camara was the only driver who did not complete a lap, as he spun during the group qualifying session. Tom Blomqvist (NIO 333 Racing) and Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) were behind him, but they were allowed to complete their one-lap qualifying because they already were on their full power lap. Buemi’s teammate Oliver Rowland was disqualified from Superpole, as he left the pitlane when the light had turned red. He will start in sixth ahead of Cassidy.
Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E), who was out in Group two alongside Felix Da Costa and Vergne, managed to qualify eighth, showing the pace of the Porsche on one lap. Sadly, in previous races, the Porsche seemed to lack some race pace. Andre Lotterer, the other driver of the Porsche 99X Electric, qualified in nineteenth position. The Porsche team have had a very bad season so far, with both drivers classified in tenth and sixteenth in the championship.
In Valencia, it was Jake Dennis who won Round six for the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team. They had a varied result in this qualifying session: Maximilian Günther will start the race in fifth place ahead of Oliver Rowland but Dennis will start fourteenth. With the closeness between drivers in terms of pace, can BMW i Andretti push themselves into the top five teams and make a bid for the championship?
Alex Lynn, who was second in the DHL Valencia E-Prix Round six, qualified in ninth position ahead of the race, showing the progress Mahindra Racing have made on their qualifying lap pace. His teammate Alexander Sims is twelfth, showing that even though their qualifying pace is better, there is still progress to be made for the Indian team.
Norman Nato is the last driver in the top ten, racing for the home team ROKiT Venturi Racing.
The race for the victory in the streets of the Principality of Monaco starts at 16:00 CET (15:00 BST).
Group qualifying results
|1||4||Robin Frijns||NLD||Envision Virgin Racing||1:31.638|
|2||20||Mitch Evans||NZL||Jaguar Racing||+ 0.134|
|3||28||Maxilimilian Günther||GER||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||+ 0.179|
|4||13||Antonio Felix Da Costa||POR||DS Techeetah||+ 0.194|
|5||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||FRA||DS Techeetah||+ 0.201|
|6||22||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Nissan e.dams||+ 0.212|
|7||37||Nick Cassidy||NZL||Envision Virgin Racing||+ 0.215|
|8||99||Pascal Wehrlein||GER||TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E||+ 0.262|
|9||94||Alex Lynn||GBR||Mahindra Racing||+ 0.314|
|10||71||Norman Nato||FRA||ROKiT Venturi Racing||+ 0.326|
|11||33||Rene Rast||GER||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||+ 0.487|
|12||29||Alexander Sims||GBR||Mahindra Racing||+ 0.508|
|13||23||Sebastien Buemi||CHE||Nissan e.dams||+ 0.571|
|14||27||Jake Dennis||GBR||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||+ 0.609|
|15||5||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||Mercedes-EQ Formula E||+ 0.639|
|16||10||Sam Bird||GBR||Jaguar Racing||+ 0.643|
|17||11||Lucas Di Grassi||BRZ||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||+ 0.665|
|18||48||Edoardo Mortara||CHE||ROKiT Venturi Racing||+ 0.691|
|19||36||Andre Lotterer||GER||TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E||+ 0.701|
|20||6||Nico Müller||CHE||Dragon/Penske Autosport||+ 0.706|
|21||88||Tom Blomqvist||GBR||NIO 333 Racing||+ 0.992|
|22||8||Oliver Turvey||GBR||NIO 333 Racing||+ 0.995|
|23||17||Nyck De Vries||NLD||Mercedes-EQ Formula E||+ 1.432|
|24||7||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||Dragon/Penske Autosport||Retired|
|1||13||Antonio Felix Da Costa||POR||DS Techeetah||1:31.317|
|2||4||Robin Frijns||NLD||Envision Virgin Racing||+ 0.012|
|3||20||Mitch Evans||NZL||Jaguar Racing||+ 0.051|
|4||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||FRA||DS Techeetah||+ 0.059|
|5||28||Maximilian Günther||GER||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||+ 0.722|
|6||22||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Nissan e.dams||DSQ|