On Sunday in Montreal the championship contenders fell into the background as won an arm-wrestle with Sam Bird to take Super Pole for the final race on the 2016/17 Calendar.


Qualifying for Sunday’s race would hang heavy for Renault e.Dams, with championship contender Buemi starting 18 points adrift of Di Grassi and Nico Prost receiving a 20-grid penalty for battery & inverter replacement.


Buemi, Engel, Lopez, Carroll and Duval would head out in Group 1. Lopez and Buemi both went incredibly deep into turn 1 and would suffer on the lap time, however the Swiss driver would set a strong middle sector. Unfortunately, it would only be good enough for provisional third behind Lopez and Duval.


Rosenqvist, D’Ambrosio, Dillmann, Evans and Vergne were next in Group 2. Evans was aggressive but would do better to iron out the edges given his ultimate lap-time was only good enough for 8th – despite an impressive save at turn 1. Rosenqvist meanwhile was flying and 9-tenths up at the middle sector and set for provisional pole. Vergne would vault to 2nd while Dillmann and D’Ambrosio would finish an impressive provisional 3rd and 4th.


Da Costa, Frijns, Piquet, Turvey and Sarrazin were up in Group 3. Like others before him, Da Costa was deep into turn one and incredibly tail-happy throughout the rest of the lap, already a second down by the mid-sector. The loose lap was only good enough for 8th and at least one further sport for Buemi. Sarrazin’s best was good enough for provisional 5th – one spot behind Piquet and Turvey down in 12th.


Prost, Abt, Di Grassi and Bird set out in the final group with a lot of pressure on Nico to steal 3 points off Di Grassi for Super Pole (despite incurring his grid penalty). Di Grassi carried prodigious speed under brakes to be a hundredth up on Prost in the first sector. Bird however was flying and would shoot traight to the top of the timesheets, while Heidfeld put in a solid lap to go 4th and give Lucas Di Grassi a fright – just scraping through to Super Pole.




That left Bird, Rosenqvist, Vergne Heidfeld and Di Grassi as the final men standing in the Super Pole shootout. Di Grassi just got the car turned at turn 1, but with the steering at full-lock the Brazilian was simply bleeding time. As such, Lucas could effectively kiss Super Pole goodbye with Heidfeld provisionally quickest – half a second up on Di Grassi – despite complaining of s**t brakes.


Vergne was a tenth up on Heidfeld in the first sector alone and well within the limits of adhesion – as such he was focussed more on going forwards than sideways and went 2-tenths up on Heidfeld.


Rosenqvist took a few bites at the exit of turn one, feeling for the grip and was up marginally in the first sector and gained most of his time like a bullet out a cannon at University corner. Bird’s lap was serene and was up on Rosenqvist before a mistake at turn 7 threw away the opportunity for pole – the Brit exclaiming over the radio that he had ‘blown it’ well before the start-finish line.


“It was an intense lap” said Rosenqvist. “Yesterday I don’t think we had the pace but we did some work overnight. It’s great to have both cars in the Super Pole Shootout”.



Image: FIA Formula E / Techeetah