Formula E

Mortara Finally Snatches Maiden Formula E Pole Position for Berlin Opener

3 Mins read
Credit: Sam Bloxham/FIA Formula E

Edoardo Mortara took his maiden ABB FIA Formula E World Championship pole position on Saturday as he denied surprise package Alexander Sims to take top spot for race one of the Berlin E-Prix.

In the previous fifty-one races of his Formula E career, Mortara had never started at the very front of the grid and had twice made the finals of the Qualifying duels this season only to miss out on pole position.

But a great final sector, coupled with a slow one for Sims, allowed the ROKiT Venturi Racing driver to finally take the pole position his form has deserved.

Sims was perhaps fortunate to be in the duels at all, let alone in the final, with Sébastien Buemi having a lap time deleted for a pit lane violation meaning the Mahindra Racing driver advanced rather than the Nissan e.dams driver, but after that, the Briton was superb.

The quarter finals saw him depose of Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team’s Pascal Wehrlein, the fastest driver of the initial group sessions, but the semi-final was a lot more controversial, with Sims and DS Techeetah’s Jean-Éric Vergne setting identical lap times.

Sims advanced as a result of setting the time first as per the regulations, but it was perhaps unfair on Vergne, who was behind the Briton on track having been faster than him in the quarter finals.  The Frenchman was obviously annoyed post-session, with the regulations called into question.

Mortara had a more straightforward progression, although his quarter final against the other Porsche of André Lotterer saw the Swiss racer get through by just 0.008 seconds ahead of the German.  He then went up and beat Techeetah’s António Félix da Costa to make it into the final.

Sims had the advantage in the early part of the lap, but the final sector was the defining one for both, with Mortara edging ahead for the first time as he crossed the finish line.  Sims, however, can be pleased with the result, with the Briton one of only three drivers not yet to score a point this year.

Félix da Costa will line-up third ahead of team-mate Vergne, with Lotterer and Wehrlein forming an all-Porsche row three.  Sérgio Sette Câmara had been a surprise qualifier into the duels, with the Dragon/Penske Autosport driver set to start seventh, just ahead of championship leader and the leading Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team driver, Stoffel Vandoorne.

Mitch Evans was the first of those to miss out on advancing from Group A in Qualifying, with the Jaguar TCS Racing driver set to start ninth ahead of the penalised Buemi, who’s best time was deleted for failing to stop in the pit lane for at least the minimum necessary time.

Jake Dennis was sixth in Group A for Avalanche Andretti FE Team and will line-up eleventh, with Nyck de Vries a disappointing twelfth for Mercedes. Lucas di Grassi was unable to join Venturi team-mate Mortara in the duels, the Brazilian set to start thirteenth ahead of NIO 333 FE Team’s Oliver Turvey, with Jaguar’s Sam Bird and Nissan’s Maximilian Günther on row eight.

Oliver Rowland will start seventeenth for Mahindra ahead of Dragon/Penske Autosport’s Antonio Giovinazzi, while Envision Racing duo Nick Cassidy and Robin Frijns will be scratching their heads as they fill out row ten, ahead only of NIO’s Daniel Ticktum and Andretti’s Oliver Askew.

Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit Race 1 Qualifying Result

148Edoardo MortaraCHEROKIT Venturi Racing
229Alexander SimsGBRMahindra Racing
313António Félix da CostaPORDS Techeetah
425Jean-Éric VergneFRADS Techeetah
536André LottererGERTAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team
699Pascal WehrleinGERTAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team
77Sérgio Sette CâmaraBRZDragon/Penske Autosport
85Stoffel VandoorneBELMercedes-EQ Formula E Team
99Mitch EvansNZLJaguar TCS Racing
1023Sébastien BuemiCHENissan e.DAMS
1127Jake DennisGBRAvalanche Andretti FE Team
1217Nyck de VriesNEDMercedes-EQ Formula E Team
1311Lucas di GrassiBRZROKiT Venturi Racing
1430Oliver RowlandGBRMahindra Racing
158Oliver TurveyGBRNIO 333 FE Team
1610Sam BirdGBRJaguar TCS Racing
1728Maximilian GüntherGERNissan e.DAMS
1899Antonio GiovinazziITADragon/Penske Autosport
1937Nick CassidyNZLEnvision Racing
204Robin FrijnsNEDEnvision Racing
2133Dan TicktumGBRNIO 333 FE Team
2228Oliver AskewUSAAvalanche Andretti FE Team
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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