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Berlin E-Prix: Buemi grabs pole with new Formula E record

Envision Racing’s Sebastien Buemi beat Sam Bird to pole for the opening Berlin E-Prix, setting a new record for the most Formula E pole positions in the process.

Sebastien Buemi, Envision Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Buemi gained nearly two tenths on Jaguar’s Bird in the opening sector at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit and extended that advantage in the second part of the lap.

Despite being fractionally slower in the final sector, Buemi’s 1m05.605s was enough to hand him his 16th Formula E pole by 0.137s as Jaguar powertrains locked out the front-row.

Bird had beaten Dan Ticktum at the semi-final stage, pulling more than two tenths out in the opening sector on the NIO 333 driver as the gap was reduced to 0.135s by the line.

Buemi meanwhile had got the better of DS Penske driver Stoffel Vandoorne by less than half a tenth to set up the duel with Bird.

The Brit just pipped Jake Dennis to secure his semi-final spot, the margin between the pair only 0.061s as the Andretti Autosport driver will start fifth.

Buemi got the better of Envision Racing team-mate Nick Cassidy in the first qualifying duel, gaining three tenths on the Kiwi in the opening sector and finished the lap 0.078s quicker.

A lock-up at the Turn 9 right-hand hairpin by Maximilian Gunther handed a semi-final spot to Ticktum, who went through with a 1m05.878s.

Vandoorne had beaten NIO 333 driver Sergio Sette Camara to progress, posting the fastest quarter-final time with a 1m05.393s.

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

The Belgian had earlier headed the opening qualifying session, posting a 1m05.978s, as drivers in both groups generally struggled to improve with their final laps.

Championship leaders Pascal Wehrlein and Porsche endured a disastrous qualifying for their home event, with the German finishing only eighth in the first group meaning he will start 15th for the race.

Wehrlein’s team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa fared no better in the same session, setting the 10th quickest time and will start 19th after his worst qualifying performance of the year.

Another big casualty was Mitch Evans, the Jaguar driver who won last time out in Sao Paulo was pipped to the final spot in the duels by a late lap from Sette Camara and will line up ninth.

Bird headed the second qualifying group with a 1m05.975s from Gunther, Ticktum and Dennis.

DS Penske driver Jean-Eric Vergne just missed the cut having run wide at Turn 1 on his final attempt.

Berlin E-Prix: Full qualifying result

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