Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein took dominant pole in 2018/19 FIA Formula E Championship’s Mexico City ePrix with Audi’s Lucas di Grassi in second and Venturi’s Felipe Massa third.
It was disaster for championship leader at the start of the first session with Sam Bird’s Envision Virgin Racing car coming to halt with the British racer unable to set any time. His teammate Robin Frijns (1m00.375s) managed to set a time but was only third.
The session was topped by BMW Andretti’s Antonio Felix da Costa (59.779s) with DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne (59.802s) in second, followed by Frijns and Mahindra Racing’s Jerome D’Ambrosio (1m00.455s) – the Belgian looked like was blocked by Frijns in the run.
The second session saw Mahindra’s Wehrlein topple the current leader da Costa with his 59.604s as BMW Andretti’s Alexander Sims (59.782s) was pushed to third, though he was just 0.004s behind da Costa.
DS Techeetah’s Andre Lotter (1m00.050s) did enough to be fifth overall behind Vergne as Jaguar’s Mitch Evans (1m00.424s) and Audi’s Daniel Abt (1m00.936s) could only manage seventh and eighth respectively – both unable to make the cut for Super Pole.
The third group saw another change at the top with Nissan e.Dams’ Oliver Rowland setting the fastest time of 59.593s to dispose Wehrlein to second as Audi’s di Grassi (59.793s) slotted in third from Nissan e.Dams’ Sebastien Buemi (59.763s).
The advances of the three drivers pushed Vergne, Lotterer and Frijns out of Super Pole running. Among others, Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara (59.935s) lined up eighth with NIO’s Oliver Turvey (59.936s) in ninth and Dragon’s Jose Maria Lopez (1m00.293s) in 11th.
After three drivers from the third group making into Super Pole, only one did from the fourth group with Venturi’s Massa (59.719s) ending up third, pushing BMW Andretti’s Sims out of the reckoning with da Costa just making it in.
Jaguar’s Nelson Piquet Jr (59/959s) ended up 11th with NIO’s Tom Dillmann (1m00.192s) in 13th as Formula E newbie Dragon’s Felipe Nasr (1m00.210s) was 14th as HWA Racelab’s Gary Paffett (1m00.340s) and Stoffel Vandoorne (1m00.844s) finished 16th and 20th.
The fight for pole started with BMW Andretti’s da Cosa setting the benchmark at 59.819s as Nissan’s Buemi then slotted in second with a 59.949s, but the two were then toppled by Audi’s di Grassi with a 59.653s lap time.
In his first Super Pole attempt, Venturi’s Massa nearly got pole with the Brazilian putting himself in second with a 59.695s to drop da Costa to third, but Mahindra’s Wehrlein thwarted the competition with a 59.347s lap time to take the top spot from di Grassi.
With Nissan’s Rowland (59.808s) managing only fourth on his quick lap, it gave Wehrlein his first Formula E pole, right after his maiden podium finish in Chile. The German will have di Grassi at his side with Massa and Rowland in Row 2.
Position 7-22: Sims, Vergne, Mortara, Turvey, Piquet, Lotterer, Dillmann, Nasr, Lopez, Paffett, Frijns, Evans, D’Ambrosio, Vandoorne, Abt and Bird.