Berlin E-Prix: Vergne takes pole by almost half a second

DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne took pole position at the Tempelhof Airport circuit in Berlin, ending points leading teammate Antonio Felix da Costa’s streak as he failed to make the Super Pole session and will start in the midfield.

A brilliant last run in superpole, where he was fastest in all three sectors, scored him a 1m06.277s effort to pull out a 0.495s advantage over BMW Andretti driver Maximilian Gunther. 

Vergne qualified second to da Costa for the first race on the reversed Tempelhof Airport circuit on Wednesday but was a distant eighth for the Thursday E-Prix. But he responded brilliantly on Saturday, topping the group two runners and taking provisional top spot by 0.3s before then converting his advantage in the top-six fight to score his 11th series pole. 

Jerome D’Ambrosio headed an impressive session for Mahindra Racing with third place, capped off by his strong form all-day in the final sector that retrieved him a tenth after a sloppy opening split.  

Stoffel Vandoorne led the way in group one over da Costa, but a huge lock up into Turn 6 added to a wall touch exiting Turn 9 and consigned him to a fourth-place start after his superpole run. 

Alex Lynn – D’Ambrosio’s teammate – continued his sterling one-lap pace as he progressed from group four to superpole, but he took too much kerb at Turn 9 to fall 0.9s off the pace after Vergne’s flier. 

Envision Virgin Racing driver Robin Frijns ran slowest in the top six battle. Super aggressive into Turn 1, he lost the rear end and began to overheat his tyres. 

That transpired through Turn 7 as he suffered a big spike of oversteer and then ran well wide at the Turn 9 hairpin to end up 0.903s adrift.   

With the Porsche driver Andre Lotterer the first out of the top-six shootout in seventh, he headed Mercedes’ Nyck de Vries who was out early on track in group two but glanced the wall exiting Turn 4. 

Despite the overstep, he was a provisional fifth to demote runaway points leader da Costa out of superpole running. 

DS Techeetah driver da Costa, who won both races on the reversed Tempelhof circuit, made a Turn 6 mistakes to wind up 0.224s off group one pacesetter Vandoorne – with team boss Mark Preston reporting that a mandated 0.1-bar reduction in tyre pressure had hurt his driver overnight. 

Oliver Rowland completed the top 10 for Nissan ahead of Lucas di Grassi and a scruffy but quick lap for Dragon Racing pilot Serge Sette Camara. 

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