until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

De Vries continues Mercedes’ perfect Formula E start with pole

by Josh Suttill
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Mercedes’ Nyck de Vries will start the final race of Formula E’s Diriyah E-Prix season-opener from pole position after edging the customer Venturi-Mercedes of Edoardo Mortara by just 0.005 seconds.

Defending champion de Vries went head-to-head with Mortara in the final of Formula E’s new knockout qualifying format, having defeated DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Mortara’s team-mate Lucas di Grassi in the previous two rounds.

De Vries, who was victorious in race one on Friday from third on the grid, was three tenths quicker than Mortara through sector one of the deciding lap, but Mortara clawed back time through sector two and just missed out by 0.005s at the chequered flag.

It continues Mercedes’ brilliant start to the 2021-22 season after Stoffel Vandoorne secured pole for race one and its drivers finished one-two in the race.

The 2016-17 Formula E champion di Grassi beat Antonio Felix da Costa in bizarre circumstances in the quarter-finals as da Costa missed the initial green light at the end of the pitlane, instead, exiting on the second green light that was intended for di Grassi.

This meant di Grassi watched on from the pitlane while da Costa had the track to himself to complete his lap.

But he backed off on the approach to the final corner so when di Grassi was then told he could exit the pitlane via a third green light and set a lap, he was able to comfortably beat him.

“Either I’m blind or we as a team made a mistake,” da Costa admitted after the session.

“It’s already screwed my day up.”

Lotterer was the fastest of the quarter-final losers and will start from fifth place ahead of two-time Formula E champion Vergne and his DS Techeetah team-mate da Costa.

Oliver Rowland qualified in seventh place, but he’ll move back three spaces because of a three-place grid penalty for the first of two collisions with Envision’s Robin Frijns in race one.

The top 10 in qualifying was completed by the two drivers who just missed out on a place in the duels – Mahindra’s Alexander Sims and race one’s third-place finisher Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti).

Mercedes EQ’s Vandoorne, who only lost the race one victory after an attack mode activation error, was the big name dropout in the group stages in 11th place after a lairy moment at Turn 2.

The second Porsche of Pascal Wehrlein was 12th ahead of Nissan e.dams’ Maximilian Guenther and Dragon Penske driver Sergio Sette Camara.

Jaguar’s Mitch Evans clipped the wall and bent his steering off-centre, meaning he could only manage a time good enough for 15th on the grid.

Oliver Askew, who scored points on his Formula E debut on Friday, was once again the fastest of the 2022 rookie trio in 16th place ahead of NIO 333’s Dan Ticktum, with Formula 1 convert Antonio Giovinazzi 19th for Dragon Penske.

For the second successive day, 2015-16 Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi felt he was blocked on his fastest lap and that left him down in 18th place.

Sam Bird tapped the wall on the exit of the fast Turn 11 left-hander and broke his Jaguar before he was able to set a representative laptime in qualifying, meaning he’ll share the back row of the grid with Nick Cassidy who crashed in final practice and was unable to participate in qualifying.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Car Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
1 Nyck de Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m07.939s 1m06.871s 1m06.835s 1m07.154s
2 Edoardo Mortara RokIt Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m07.724s 1m07.014s 1m06.987s 1m07.159s
3 Robin Frijns Envision Racing Audi e-tron FE07 1m07.757s 1m07.207s 1m07.184s
4 Lucas Di Grassi RokIt Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m08.083s 1m07.58s 1m07.216s
5 André Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche Porsche 99X Electric 1m08.224s 1m07.285s
6 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE21 1m07.968s 1m07.539s
7 António Félix da Costa DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE21 1m07.806s 1m08.681s
8 Jake Dennis Avalanche Andretti BMW iFE.021 1m08.419s
9 Alexander Sims Mahindra Racing Mahindra M7Electro 1m08.011s
10 Oliver Rowland Mahindra Racing Mahindra M7Electro 1m08.101s 1m07.78s
11 Pascal Wehrlein TAG Heuer Porsche Porsche 99X Electric 1m08.454s
12 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m08.257s
13 Sérgio Sette Câmara Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-5 1m08.482s
14 Maximilian Günther Nissan e.Dams Nissan IM03 1m08.339s
15 Oliver Askew Avalanche Andretti BMW iFE.021 1m08.626s
16 Mitch Evans Jaguar TCS Racing Jaguar I-TYPE 5 1m08.368s
17 Sébastien Buemi Nissan e.Dams Nissan IM03 1m08.829s
18 Daniel Ticktum Nio 333 Racing NIO 333 001 1m08.753s
19 Oliver Turvey Nio 333 Racing NIO 333 001 1m08.943s
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-5 1m08.811s
21 Sam Bird Jaguar TCS Racing Jaguar I-TYPE 5 1m13.91s
22 Nick Cassidy Envision Racing Audi e-tron FE07
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