Rosenqvist ravages rivals to take Rome ePrix pole
Felix Rosenqvist once again proved he is the one of the ,most feared drivers on the Formula E grid, by decimating his closest runner to take his sixth Formula E career pole position for the Rome ePrix by over half a second.
“It was quite an edgy lap, so maybe I didn’t need to push so much”, said Rosenqvist.
“It’s great to be back after some tough races”.
Prost, Filippi, D’Ambrosio, Engel and Blomqvist head out in Group 1 and as with most tracks, the first group would generally suffer on a green track, but a new circuit like Rome would only compound the misfortune.
Under pressure to perform, Nico Prost was first to set a representative time, while Maro Engel was in no mood to wait – barging his way past the back eager to get on with business. It was a smart move, as Jerome D’Ambrosio and Luca Filippi were unable to make it to the line in time and consequently did not qualify.
Up next, the big names of Buemi, Vergne, Bird, Rosenqvist and Piquet made their collective way out gingerly in order to gain valuable space. Rosenqvist immediately went purple in sector 1, throwing his Mahindra around to record a 1.36:683 to shave Sebastien Buemi and Sam Bird to take the top three positions. Nelson Piquet however was bundled out of Super Pole contention
The penultimate group of Evans, Abt, Turvey, Mortara and Di Grassi wasted no time getting down to business with Daniel Abt the first to set purple sectors. It was only good enough for fifth while Audi team mate Lucas Di Grassi collected the wall but was able to continue. Edoardo Mortara also sustained damage after contact – his car crab walking back to the pits.
The man to benefit was Mitch Evans, who finished fourth and gained another chance at Superpole, while Jean-Eric Vergne lost out, only managing a lap good enough for seventh.
Lopez, Lotterer, Heidfeld, Da Costa and Lynn made up the final Group and the drama began early with Antonio Felix Da Costa and Jose Maria Lopez colliding in the pits before they’ve even started a lap; Da Costa ramming the side of the Argentine after a miscommunication whilst exiting his pit box. Da Costa went to console his unfortunate victim but the Dragon driver was having none of it.
“I feel sorry for him”, said Da Costa. “It’s incredibly tight here, but it’s not an excuse”.
That left a clean lap for Nick Heidfeld, the German executing a neat and tidy set of sectors, but remarkably could only manage ninth. Alex Lynn, keen to make amends for his practice crashes, wasn’t able to do much better in tenth. Andre Lotterer however was on a flyer, the ex-WEC super setting a brilliant final sector to go quickest of all for Techeetah by a tenth of a second.
That left Evans, Bird, Buemi, Rosenqvist and Lotterer to contest Super Pole. The Kiwi was pushing hard, shaving the walls and on the verge of a catastrophic lock-up to come away with the time of 1.37:199. Sam Bird was up next and was equally committed as Evans through the first two corners. His low minimum apex speed did not hurt the Brit however and would gain a massive four-tenths on Evans in the final sector.
Sebastien Buemi was inch-perfect to go two-tenths up in the first two sectors before the re-gen retardation failed the Swiss driver at turn thirteen, effectively throwing away his lap and finishing third quickest and eight-tenths down on Bird.
That left Felix Rosenqvist with it all to prove and was quickest of all in sector one and two, with his opposition watching in disbelief as the Swede smashed Bird’s best time by six-tenths of a second. Lotterer would put in his usual in-perfect best to push Felix, but would lose four-tenths in the first sector alone to finish fourth, handing Rosenqvist and Mahindra pole.
Images: Michelin Motorsport
300-101 400-101 300-320 300-070 300-206 200-310 300-135 300-208 810-403 400-050 640-916 642-997 300-209 400-201 200-355 352-001 642-999 350-080 MB2-712 400-051 C2150-606 1Z0-434 1Z0-146 C2090-919 C9560-655 642-64 100-101 CQE CSSLP 200-125 210-060 210-065 210-260 220-801 220-802 220-901 220-902 2V0-620 2V0-621 2V0-621D 300-075 300-115 AWS-SYSOPS 640-692 640-911 1Z0-144 1z0-434 1Z0-803 1Z0-804 000-089 000-105 70-246 70-270 70-346 70-347 70-410