Beijing Formula E: Sebastien Buemi on pole, Nelson Piquet Jr last

Sebastien Buemi secured pole position for the first round of the 2015/16 Formula E season, while defending champion Nelson Piquet Jr will line up last for the Beijing ePrix

Beijing Formula E: Sebastien Buemi on pole, Nelson Piquet Jr last

Buemi defeated Renault e.dams team-mate Nicolas Prost in the championship's first-ever 'superpole' session, despite a mistake on his flying lap.

Having topped Friday's test and the first Saturday practice Buemi emerged from the four mini-sessions comfortably quickest, with DS Virgin Racing's Jean-Eric Vergne splitting the two Renault Z.E.15s.

That put the trio through to the superpole, in which they were joined by Mahindra's Nick Heidfeld and practice two pacesetter Lucas di Grassi.

Di Grassi ran first but his 1m39.539s was not close to being a pole-lap contender, though Heidfeld pumped in a more respectable 1m38.339s.

Prost outpaced the Mahindra driver by 0.7s on his lap, but Vergne's effort lasted just a handful of seconds before he went down the escape road at Turn 1.

With the Frenchman consigned to fifth, Buemi was the only driver capable of toppling Prost, and he was two tenths up in the first sector.

A lock-up at the second chicane put him a tenth down on Prost after sector two, but the 2014/15 runner-up recovered with a perfect end to the lap to take pole by 0.28s with a 1m37.297s.

Behind the Renault e.dams drivers Heidfeld and di Grassi complete row two, ahead of Vergne and Stephane Sarrazin, who will line up sixth in his Venturi VM200-FE-01 after just missing out on the superpole by a tenth of a second.

The second Mahindra of Bruno Senna was seventh, while the encouraging practice form for the two Dragon Racing entries translated into eighth for Loic Duval and 10th for Jerome d'Ambrosio, with Sam Bird's Virgin DSV-01 in between.

Team China Racing driver Piquet, who will start 18th, was fighting the car throughout his qualifying segment.

He was on the backfoot after crashing in practice one and having limited running in practice two, and wound up a quarter of a second slower than next-worst qualifier, Team Aguri's debutant Nathanael Berthon.

The sister NEXTEV TCR 001 of Oliver Turvey will start 15th for the team's home race.

Follow the Formula E season opener as it happens with Autosport Race Centre Live from 9am UK time

STARTING GRID:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Sebastien Buemi e.dams 1m37.297s -
2 Nicolas Prost e.dams 1m37.581s 0.284s
3 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 1m38.339s 1.042s
4 Lucas di Grassi Abt 1m39.539s 2.242s
5 Jean-Eric Vergne Virgin 2m21.284s 43.987s
6 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi 1m38.645s -
7 Bruno Senna Mahindra 1m38.761s -
8 Loic Duval Dragon 1m38.859s -
9 Sam Bird Virgin 1m38.884s -
10 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon 1m39.058s -
11 Daniel Abt Abt 1m39.220s -
12 Jacques Villeneuve Venturi 1m39.665s -
13 Robin Frijns Andretti 1m39.672s -
14 Simona de Silvestro Andretti 1m39.681s -
15 Oliver Turvey China 1m39.734s -
16 Antonio Felix da Costa Aguri 1m40.295s -
17 Nathanael Berthon Aguri 1m40.386s -
18 Nelson Piquet Jr. China 1m40.638s -


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Beijing Formula E: Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi top practice

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Beijing Formula E: Sebastien Buemi dominates season opener

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