Wehrlein edges Vandoorne for Sao Paulo E-Prix pole

Pascal Wehrlein claimed pole position for the Sao Paulo E-Prix, his second pole of the year, beating DS Penske’s Stoffel Vandoorne in an incredibly tight final head-to-head duel.

The TAG Heuer Porsche driver denied Vandoorne by just 0.002s in the pole position battle in what was the second-closest pole margin in Formula E history, after Lucas di Grassi’s 0.001s advantage in Berlin in 2017.

En route to the Duels final, Wehrlien beat Mahindra Racing’s Edoardo Mortara and Maserati MSG’s Maximillian Guenther, who’d defeated NEOM McLaren’s Sam Bird in his own opening duel.

Guenther’s qualifying performance would have put him on the second row of the grid but it proved to be inconsequential after not only his 20-place grid penalty handed to him before second practice for changing a gearbox, but a second 20-place drop for changing an inverter before qualifying. He will take that second hit in the form of a time penalty in the race later today.


Vandoorne, meanwhile, defeated Mitch Evans and teammate Jean-Eric Vergne to set up the tussle with Wehrlein.

Evans was surprisingly the only Jaguar car — factory or customer — to make it to the head-to-head part of qualifying. His Jaguar TCS teammate Nick Cassidy dropped out of a transfer spot in the final seconds of the first group session thanks to a late surge that put the DS Penske duo on top.

In the other group session, Abt Cupra’s Nico Mueller was fastest, despite clipping the wall on his final flying lap. That meant that although he advanced to the duels, he took no further part in qualifying, handing Vergne a bye in that first head-to-head.


Story originally appeared on Racer