Vergne equals pole record in close Shanghai E-Prix qualifying

Jean-Eric Vergne equalled Sebastien Buemi’s record of 16 Formula E pole positions after defeating Oliver Rowland in the final of the Head-to-Head qualifying Duels in Shanghai.

The DS Penske driver’s time of 1m13. 323 in the Final was the quickest lap of all of qualifying, and bested Nissan man Rowland by 0.038s. Rowland had been quicker in the second and third sectors, but lost too much time in the first to overhaul Vergne.

Ahead of the final, Vergne defeated TAG Heuer Porsche pair Atonio Felix da Costa and Pascal Wehrlein, while Rowland defeated FP2 pacesetter Norman Nato and Mitch Evans, the latter by just 0.001s.


Both drivers finished second of their respective duels, however, with Verge’s teammate Stoffel Vandoorne in Group A, Andretti driver Nato and Evans also advancing — Evans edging his Jaguar TCS Racing teammate Nick Cassidy by just 0.009s.

Vergne meanwhile finished second to NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes in Group B, by just 0.004s. Hughes was cruelly knocked out in the first stage of the Duels. His time of 1m13.483 was the second-fastest of all eight in the first part of the head-to-head stage, but was 0.034s off Wehrlein who he was drawn up against. da Costa and Wehrlein were the others to advance from Group B.

Vergne’s pole is also his second of the season, and starting behind him and fellow front-row starter Rowland will be Evans and Wehrlein, with Hughes and da Costa on the third row.

Nato will line up seventh, with Vandoorne eighth, and Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns and Cassidy completing the top 10. Jake Dennis will start 11th in his Andretti Porsche, with Buemi 12th for Envision, Mahindra’s Nyck de Vries 13th and Maximilian Guenther 14th for Maserati MSG Racing.

The eight row of the grid is locked out by Abt Cupra’s Nico Mueller and Lucas di Grassi, with the ERTs of Sergio Sette Camara and Dan Ticktum together the row behind. McLaren’s Sam Bird, Maserati’s Jehan Daruvala, Mahindra’s Edorardo Mortara, and Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz complete the grid.


Story originally appeared on Racer