until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

McLaren on pole at just third attempt in Formula E

by Josh Suttill
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Jake Hughes secured his and McLaren’s maiden pole position in Formula E after eclipsing Jaguar driver Mitch Evans by just 0.104s in a nail-biting final qualifying duel in Diriyah.

Hughes will start the second race of the Diriyah double-header from pole after he beat points leader Jake Dennis and race one polesitter Sebastien Buemi to set up a clash with Evans – the second of those duels featured Hughes brushing the wall at Turn 7 but surviving to advance to the final.

Evans had overcome Maserati’s Edoardo Mortara and Hughes’s team-mate Rene Rast to make it to the final, but he lost out on pole to Hughes in the final by just over a tenth.

It continues Hughes and McLaren’s impressive one-lap speed this season, with the rookie’s qualifying record reading third, second and first so far.

Rast made it two McLarens in the top three while Buemi will start race two in fourth place.

Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein was the fastest of the quarter-final losers and will line up in fifth place – his best qualifying performance in a season where he’s already charged from sixth to second and from ninth to first.

Dennis, who has a slender one-point advantage over Wehrlein at the top of the drivers’ championship, will start in sixth place ahead of Mortara.

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Defending series champion Stoffel Vandoorne and DS Penske broke into the duels for the first time this year but he was beaten by Buemi in their quarter-final clash and will start eighth.

Race one podium finisher Sam Bird couldn’t join his Jaguar team-mate in the duels, missing out to Dennis by a small fraction in the group stages.

He’ll be joined on the fifth row by Maximilian Guenther, who was able to compete thanks to his Maserati team’s lengthy overnight repair job following his crash in qualifying on Friday.

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NIO 333 driver Dan Ticktum’s streak of duel appearances came to an end as he was sixth fastest in his group ahead of team-mate Sergio Sette Camara.

Ticktum will share the sixth row of the grid with Nissan rookie Sacha Fenestraz while Mahindra’s Oliver Rowland will line up alongside Sette Camara.

DS Penske’s Jean-Eric Vergne failed to match his team-mate’s duel heroics after finishing eighth in his group – putting him alongside the second Envision of Nick Cassidy.

Antonio Felix da Costa’s rocky adaptation to life at Porsche continued in qualifying as he was only ninth fastest in his group, the same position fellow Porsche-powered driver Andre Lotterer finished in his qualifying group.

The 2016-17 champion Lucas di Grassi couldn’t get his Mahindra slowed down in time for the Turn 18 right-hander on his last flying lap, grounding himself to the 10th row of the grid.

He’ll start alongside Nissan’s Norman Nato and ahead of the Mahindra-powered Abt duo of Kelvin van der Linde and Nico Mueller, who will occupy the back row of the grid.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Car Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
1 Jake Hughes NEOM McLaren Nissan e-4ORCE 04 1m09.361s 1m08.748s 1m08.68s 1m08.693s
2 Mitch Evans Jaguar TCS Racing Jaguar I-TYPE 6 1m09.401s 1m08.909s 1m08.69s 1m08.797s
3 René Rast NEOM McLaren Nissan e-4ORCE 04 1m09.435s 1m08.855s 1m08.922s
4 Sébastien Buemi Envision Racing Jaguar I-TYPE 6 1m09.422s 1m08.925s 1m08.926s
5 Pascal Wehrlein TAG Heuer Porsche Porsche 99X Electric 1m09.576s 1m09.028s
6 Jake Dennis Avalanche Andretti Porsche 99X Electric 1m09.572s 1m09.198s
7 Edoardo Mortara Maserati MSG Racing Maserati Tipo Folgore 1m09.623s 1m09.279s
8 Stoffel Vandoorne DS Penske DS E-Tense FE23 1m09.518s 1m09.282s
9 Sam Bird Jaguar TCS Racing Jaguar I-TYPE 6 1m09.628s
10 Maximilian Günther Maserati MSG Racing Maserati Tipo Folgore 1m09.643s
11 Daniel Ticktum NIO 333 Racing NIO 333 ER9 1m09.698s
12 Sacha Fenestraz Nissan Nissan e-4ORCE 04 1m09.67s
13 Sérgio Sette Câmara NIO 333 Racing NIO 333 ER9 1m09.735s
14 Oliver Rowland Mahindra Racing Mahindra M9Electro 1m09.69s
15 Nick Cassidy Envision Racing Jaguar I-TYPE 6 1m09.761s
16 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Penske DS E-Tense FE23 1m09.794s
17 António Félix da Costa TAG Heuer Porsche Porsche 99X Electric 1m09.832s
18 André Lotterer Avalanche Andretti Porsche 99X Electric 1m09.843s
19 Norman Nato Nissan Nissan e-4ORCE 04 1m10.107s
20 Lucas Di Grassi Mahindra Racing Mahindra M9Electro 1m09.975s
21 Kelvin van der Linde ABT Cupra Formula E Team Mahindra M9Electro 1m10.221s
22 Nico Müller ABT CUPRA Mahindra M9Electro 1m10.072s
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