Buemi grabs pole as Vergne and di Grassi struggle in New York qualifying
Sebastien Buemi has secured pole position for the New York City E-Prix while championship contenders Jean-Eric Vergne and Lucas di Grassi will both start outside the top 10 after struggling with the dusty track conditions in group one.
The ever-impressive rookie Pascal Wehrlein had looked on course to grab a surprise pole for Mahindra before Buemi’s stunning late effort secured the Nissan e.dams team a staggering sixth pole position from 12 races so far this season.
The Swiss driver is yet to win a race this year but remains one of eight drivers with an outside chance of winning this year’s drivers’ championship.
On the second row, Jaguar’s Alex Lynn secured his best starting position since returning to the championship with third while Daniel Abt has a chance to keep his faint title hopes alive from fourth.
BMW Andretti’s Alexander Sims carried his good form through to qualifying after topping free practice one and will start the race from fifth, ahead of Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird who blew his shot at pole position with an error-strewn superpole lap.
It was a strong performance from Dragon Racing’s Jose Maria Lopez who narrowly missed out on a superpole appearance but will start the race from seventh, ahead of title outsider Antonio Felix da Costa who was another to struggle with the track conditions in group one.
Robin Frijns will start ninth ahead of championship leader Vergne who felt he was hindered by di Grassi’s slow pace during the first group qualifying session.
Jaguar’s Mitch Evans remains in championship contention but will have a lot to do from 13th on the grid after describing the dusty circuit as “horrendous” in group one.
Di Grassi’s was also unhappy with his 14th place grid slot but he at least fared better than Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer who will start from two places further back in 16th.
Nissan e.dams rookie Oliver Rowland looked to have the pace to join his team-mate in superpole but a costly error in the middle sector leaves him 20th on the grid, while Jerome d’Ambrosio will start last, once place of Venturi’s Felipe Massa after both made mistakes on their qualifying laps.
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