Sam Bird, Lucas di Grassi, Jean-Eric Vergne, Jerome D’Ambrosio and Antonio Felix Da Costa headed out in Group 1. With a 1 minute 30 second average lap, there was little time to waste getting out o track, but despite this, some chose to leave their run late.
Bird was on full power from the outset; due to a minor off on his warm-up lap. As a result a scruffy lap earned the Brit second less than a tenth behind Da Costa. Third was di Grassi, followed by Vergne and D’Ambrosio.
Next up was Robin Frijns, Daniel Abt, Pascal Wehrlein, Edoardo Mortara and Andre Lotterer in Group Two. A good first sector for both Mortata and Wehrlein saw them four tenth up on Da Costa’s best, however Lotterer would undercut both drivers by six-tenths of a second. Daniel Abt meanwhile was disappointed to only set a time good enough for provisional ninth.
The disparity in times between Group One and Two drew more comments from Di Grassi and Bird, highlighting that the top championship contenders would always suffer from poor track conditions.
In Group Three, Oliver Turvey, Alexander Sims, Oliver Rowland, Mitch Evans, Sebastien Buemi and Felipe Massa were out next, with Simms heading out early with five minutes on the clock but a power failure would halt his run at the chicane.
Consequently, the red flag was shown just as Evans crossed the finish line to go P2, but all drivers would be required to re-run. On their second attempt, Evans would take provisional second ahead of Buemi. Massa would take seventh ahead of Rowland while Turvey could only managed sixteenth.
The fourth and final group consisted of Alex Lynn, Max Gunther, Jose Maria Lopez, Stoffel Vandoorne, Gary Paffett and Tom Dillmann. Spots of rain began to appear on the warm-up lap, but not enough to stop Vandoorne from going provisional third.
HWA team-mate Paffett could only go thirteenth while Gunther and Lopez put in flyers to put both Dragons in provisional third and fifth. Lynn would go ninth for Jaguar while Dillmann could oly manage twenty-first.
With the umbrellas out, superpole would definitely be run in the wet with Buemi out first. The Swiss driver would lock-up heavily and run up the escape road at the hairpin on his warm-up lap, sending a warning to all other drivers to stay to the left at turn 13. A 1.36:331 would be the time to beat.
With the benefit of hindsight, Gunther would go six-tenths quicker than Buemi, only to be undercut by Vandoorne by a massive 2.4 seconds.
With the track now drying, Lopez would undercut Vandoorne in the first sector to go three tenths quicker overall. Evans would improve again by four tenths with only Lotterer left to run.
The German was up by three tenth in the first sector but would nearly throw away the lap with a massive understeer in the second. Lotterer however had a dry track on his side to regain the time and take pole by three tenths of a second.
Images: Techeetah and Jaguar Racing