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Mexico City E-Prix: Wehrlein scores stunning first pole

Mexico City E-Prix: Wehrlein scores stunning first pole
By Motorsport.com

16/02/2019 at 18:59Updated 16/02/2019 at 19:19

Mahindra Racing's Pascal Werhlein took a dominant first ABB FIA Formula E pole position for the Mexico City E-Prix by 0.306s over Audi's Lucas di Grassi.Wehrlein, who starred last time out in the Santiago E-Prix, was the fastest driver in group two and retained a top-six place to earn a spot in the superpole shootout.  The former Formula 1 driver then ran fourth in superpole and deposed provisiona

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Mahindra Racing's Pascal Werhlein took a dominant first ABB FIA Formula E pole position for the Mexico City E-Prix by 0.306s over Audi's Lucas di Grassi.

The former Formula 1 driver then ran fourth in superpole and deposed provisional polesitter di Grassi with a 59.347s lap, helped by an impressive attack on the final sector through the chicane. 

That pole lap set up a showdown between Wehrlein and one of the other stars of qualifying: Nissan e.dams's Oliver Rowland. 

Rowland outqualified his teammate and former champion Sebastien Buemi in both the group stages and in superpole, but lost out on a chance to take pole after a scruffy end to his lap included a large lock-up approaching the final chicane.

That left Rowland fourth on the grid, trailing Felipe Massa by one tenth of a second after the Venturi man made his first appearance in superpole and ran close to Di Grassi's second-place benchmark.

Antonio Felix da Costa was the only driver from group one to make superpole and qualified fifth ahead of Buemi. 

Championship leader Sam Bird failed to progress from group one after a suspected driveshaft problem brought his Envision Virgin Racing machine to a halt before he had set a flying lap. Bird will now start the Mexico City E-Prix from last on the grid.

While one BMW Andretti driver was able to squeeze into superpole, da Costa's teammate Alexander Sims was shuffled into seventh place. 

Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne was in superpole contention following group two's running until Rowland's stunning lap in the next group pushed him out, with the DS Techeetah man eventually qualifying eighth.

Edoardo Mortara took ninth in a much-improved Venturi showing, ahead of Oliver Turvey as the NIO driver bounced back from his second practice session error.

Jaguar's Nelson Piquet Jr could only qualify 11th, despite starting in group four, after a lurid slide on the exit of the Turn 6 right-hander almost ended with a crash into the outside wall. 

Vergne's Techeetah teammate Lotterer was 12th, two places ahead of Dragon's new recruit Felipe Nasr.

Nasr impressed by outqualifying 13th-placed teammate Jose Maria Lopez by 0.083s.

Gary Paffett was the best-placed HWA driver in 16th in another difficult showing for the team, with Stoffel Vandoorne all the way down in 20th.

Virgin Racing's Robin Frijns could only take 17th but is under investigation for impeding Jerome D'Ambrosio's fast lap, the Mahindra man settling for 19th behind Jaguar's Mitch Evans.

Qualifying results

1 94 Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing 59.347
2 11 Lucas di Grassi Team Abt 59.653
3 19 Felipe Massa Venturi 59.695
4 22 Oliver Rowland DAMS 59.808
5 28 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Autosport 59.819
6 23 Sébastien Buemi DAMS 59.949
7 27 Alexander Sims Andretti Autosport 59.782
8 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah 59.802
9 48 Edoardo Mortara Venturi 59.935
10 16 Oliver Turvey NIO Formula E Team 59.936
11 3 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar Racing 59.959
12 36 Andre Lotterer Techeetah 1'00.050
13 8 Tom Dillmann NIO Formula E Team 1'00.192
14 6 Felipe Nasr Dragon Racing 1'00.210
15 7 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Racing 1'00.293
16 17 Gary Paffett HWA AG 1'00.340
17 4 Robin Frijns Virgin Racing 1'00.375
18 20 Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing 1'00.424
19 64 Jérôme d'Ambrosio Mahindra Racing 1'00.455
20 5 Stoffel Vandoorne HWA AG 1'00.844
21 66 Daniel Abt Team Abt 1'00.936
22 2 Sam Bird Virgin Racing
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