Felix Rosenqvist resumed form to take a narrow pole position from a hard-charging Mitch Evans for race two of the Hong Kong ePrix.
Reigning champion Lucas di Grassi, as well as Oliver Turvey, Andre Lotterer and the two Dragons of Neel Jani and Jerome D’Ambrosio were first out in Group 1. Neel Jani made a break early to make amends from his Saturday performance followed by Lotterer.
That was how the order stood until a blinding 1:03.092 from Oliver Turvey out his NIO to the top of the timesheets. Lucas di Grassi would soon slot into 2nd as Jani eventually dropped to fifth. D’Ambrosio noted that running in Group 1 was especially difficult due to Roborace running between FP3 and qualifying and had left some debris on the circuit.
Buemi, Evans, Engel, Rosenqvist, and Kobayashi were up next. Rosenqvist was initially quickest from the outset, but ultimately only good enough for sixth before slotting in a 1:02.828 to usurp Turvey from the top spot. Evans however was setting purple sectors and hit P1 with a bullet and a 1:02.577. Buemi meanwhile was way off the pace in the 1:05’s and had to settle for 10th after touching the wall.
The Group 3 crew of da Costa, Mortara, Lynn, Prost and Filippi. Alex Lynn was immediately on the pace, getting within three-tenths of Evans’ pole time to go P3 while Da Costa slotted into fourth. Edoardo Mortana though was on a move and would pip Lynn for 2nd in only his second attempt in qualifying. Prost would ultimately have to settle for ninth – the two e.Dams entries enduring a torrid weekend. While only finishing tenth, Filippi put in a good whowing to only be a 0.1s of team mate Turvey.
Bird, Vergne, Heidfeld, Piquet and Abt were next up, with Daniel Abt immediately slotting into second position while Bird netted fifth – remembering he would drop ten spots due to his penalty from yesterday. Vergne could only manage a time good enough for eighth while Heidfeld and Piquet were mired down in 11th and 12 respectively.
That left Evans, Abt, Motara, Rosenqvist and Bird to contest the Superpole shootout. Bird was up first – hoping that a pole would at least put him eleventh on the grid. A 1:03.109 for Bird didn’t set the world on fire but was respectable until a 1:02.836 for Rosenqvist made his day just a little worse.
Mortara would show that his speed in quali one was no fluke, by edging within a tenth of the pole time set by Rosenqvist. A slow middle sector for Abt saw him eight tenths of the pace and settling for fourth position.
All eyes were now on Mitch Evans and was putting in a tidy lap, but ultimately came within five hundredths of a second to yield pole position to Rosenqvist. If this year looked to be a two-make race in testing, then those predictions were being blown out of the water. Bird’s fourth place would see him drop to fourteenth for this afternoon’s race.
Images: FIA Formula E
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