Mahindra Racing’s Alex Lynn took pole position for the opening race of the London E-Prix on Saturday around a drying track at the Exhibition Centre London (ExCeL) circuit.
The rain that affected the practice session earlier in the day had stopped, but the outside part of the track was still wet throughout, with some areas much wetter than others.
And Lynn took his second career ABB FIA Formula E World Championship pole position in a British driver one-two ahead of BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Jake Dennis.
The top six in the championship were in group 1, and it was Edoardo Mortara was quickest for ROKiT Venturi Racing with a lap of 1:25.198, 0.081 seconds ahead of DS Techeetah’s António Félix da Costa, with championship leader Sam Bird third for Jaguar Racing.
Nick Cassidy was the best of the Envision Virgin Racing drivers in fourth, just ahead of team-mate Robin Frijns, while Jean-Éric Vergne was the slowest of everyone after being the first driver to set a time.
It was not long however before those in Group 1 were shuffled down the pack, with Lucas di Grassi setting the best time in Group 2 with 1:24.564 for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler as the top five in the second group moved to the top.
Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team’s Nyck de Vries went up to second ahead of Jaguar’s Mitch Evans, while Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team’s Pascal Wehrlein and Audi’s René Rast went fourth and fifth. Oliver Rowland had a poor final sector and could only slide into tenth.
A red flag flew in Group 3 as Maximilian Günther hit the wall at turn fifteen and broke his left-front suspension. All the drivers were on quick laps but were forced to abort, but they were given the chance to return to the track to set a competitive lap. It will be particularly frustrating for Günther, who had topped free practice earlier in the day.
When the session resumed, Porsche’s André Lotterer hit the top with a time of 1:23.900 with Mahindra Racing’s Lynn going second ahead of BMW’s Dennis. Alexander Sims went into fifth in the second Mahindra behind di Grassi, while Stoffel Vandoorne could only manage tenth in the second Mercedes as he recovered from his morning crash.
Lotterer’s time from Group 3 was untroubled as Sébastien Buemi’s best lap of the session was good enough for only fourth, while Dragon/Penske Autosport’s Sérgio Sette Câmara went fifth ahead of Venturi’s Norman Nato, who was able to sneak into the pole shootout, edging out di Grassi.
Joel Eriksson will have his best starting position of his short Formula E career to date in tenth, while the two NIO 333 FE Team drivers, Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Turvey, ended fifteenth and nineteenth respectively.
The results of the four groups means Lotterer, Lynn, Dennis, Buemi, Sette Câmara and Nato made it into Super Pole, while championship leader Bird will start eighteenth, just behind his closest rival Félix da Costa, while Virgin’s Cassidy and Frijns will be twentieth and twenty-second respectively. Vergne will start twenty-third, ahead only of Günther.
Qualifying Group Stage Result
|1||36||André Lotterer||GER||TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team||1:23.900|
|2||94||Alex Lynn||GBR||Mahindra Racing||1:23.921||+0.021|
|3||27||Jake Dennis||GBR||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||1:24.032||+0.132|
|4||23||Sébastien Buemi||CHE||Nissan e.DAMS||1:24.124||+0.224|
|5||7||Sérgio Sette Câmara||BRZ||Dragon/Penske Autosport||1:24.199||+0.299|
|6||71||Norman Nato||FRA||ROKIT Venturi Racing||1:24.329||+0.429|
|7||11||Lucas di Grassi||BRZ||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||1:24.564||+0.664|
|8||29||Alexander Sims||GBR||Mahindra Racing||1:24.584||+0.684|
|9||17||Nyck de Vries||NED||Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team||1:24.644||+0.744|
|10||6||Joel Eriksson||SWE||Dragon/Penske Autosport||1:24.695||+0.795|
|11||20||Mitch Evans||NZL||Jaguar Racing||1:24.820||+0.920|
|12||99||Pascal Wehrlein||GER||TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team||1:24.847||+0.947|
|13||33||René Rast||GER||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||1:24.913||+1.013|
|14||5||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team||1:25.101||+1.201|
|15||88||Tom Blomqvist||GBR||NIO 333 FE Team||1:25.104||+1.204|
|16||48||Edoardo Mortara||CHE||ROKIT Venturi Racing||1:25.198||+1.298|
|17||13||António Félix da Costa||POR||DS Techeetah||1:25.279||+1.379|
|18||10||Sam Bird||GBR||Jaguar Racing||1:25.366||+1.466|
|19||8||Oliver Turvey||GBR||NIO 333 FE Team||1:25.398||+1.498|
|20||37||Nick Cassidy||NZL||Envision Virgin Racing||1:25.911||+2.011|
|21||22||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Nissan e.DAMS||1:25.932||+2.032|
|22||4||Robin Frijns||NED||Envision Virgin Racing||1:26.009||+2.109|
|23||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||FRA||DS Techeetah||1:26.168||+2.268|
|24||28||Maximilian Günther||GER||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||No Time||–|
Nato was the first driver on track and set a time of 1:23.912, faster than he managed during his first run. However, Sette Câmara went even quicker with a time of 1:23.758 in an impressive run for the Dragon/Penske Autosport driver.
Third on track, Buemi then moved to the top to the timesheets with a lap of 1:23.627 despite being a couple of tenths of a second down on Sette Câmara in the first sector. It was a mighty final sector that saw the Swiss racer hit top spot.
Dennis was fourth on track and set two fastest sectors, but despite a small mistake in the final sector, he was able to hit top spot with a time of 1:23.544. However, Lynn was next on track and went even faster with a 1:23.245.
Lotterer was unable to convert his pace from the group stage into pole position, however, as the German could only manage fifth, giving Lynn the pole position, and Dennis a front-row start.
Super Pole Result
|1||94||Alex Lynn||GBR||Mahindra Racing||1:23.245|
|2||27||Jake Dennis||GBR||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||1:23.544||+0.299|
|3||23||Sébastien Buemi||CHE||Nissan e.DAMS||1:23.627||+0.382|
|4||7||Sérgio Sette Câmara||BRZ||Dragon/Penske Autosport||1:23.758||+0.513|
|5||36||André Lotterer||GER||TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team||1:23.863||+0.618|
|6||71||Norman Nato||FRA||ROKIT Venturi Racing||1:23.912||+0.667|