Formula E Punta del Este: Vergne inherits pole, di Grassi demoted

Points leader Jean-Eric Vergne will start Formula E's Punta del Este race from pole, with qualifying pacesetter Lucas di Grassi was stripped of his time after a controversial session

Audi driver Di Grassi had claimed his first provisional pole of the season with a 1m13.948s lap ahead of DS Virgin Racing's Alex Lynn.

But the pair, and NIO's Oliver Turvey, were placed under investigation for clipping a bollard at the Uruguayan coastal circuit's high-speed Turn 14/15 chicane during the superpole segment.

Vergne had topped the group qualifying session, but abandoned his superpole lap after striking the wall at the first chicane.

Following a long investigation, di Grassi, Lynn and Turvey were put to the back of the superpose session.

Vergne will therefore start from pole, ahead of di Grassi, Lynn, Turvey and Daniel Abt.

In a separate development, Mitch Evans, who had qualified third after striking the wall on the exit of the double left-hander at the end of the circuit's first leg, was demoted to 16th on the grid due to a weight distribution issue following a change of battery between the practice sessions.

Sebastien Buemi, who set the fastest time in FP1 and won FE's first two races in Uruguay in seasons one and two, did not progress from the final group to superpole and will start sixth after losing time in the tail end of his flying lap.

Andre Lotterer was eighth fastest ahead of Maro Engel - another driver to brush the wall - and Sam Bird, third in the championship coming into the weekend, rounded out the top 10 in qualifying for DS Virgin.

Another title contender - Mahindra's Felix Rosenqvist - wound up 14th after clipping the wall at the first chicane and then again exiting Turns 7 and 8.

Three drivers who crashed brought up the rear of the field in 18th, 19th and 20th.

Nick Heidfeld crashed out late during the third group's running as he understeered into the wall at Turn 17, the last chicane just before the final hairpin.

Nelson Piquet flew through the first sector during his flying lap in group four, but the Jaguar driver hit the blue sausage kerb at the Turns 10/11 chicane and then clattered into the wall on the exit as a result.

Nico Prost brought up the rear of the field after crashing at the high-speed Turn 14/15 chicane and will start 19th.

The Renault driver ran over the kerbs on the left-hander entry and later reported that the steering was damaged in the impact, which caused him to jump across the second apex and go straight into the wall on the outside.

Starting grid

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 1m16.806s -
2 Lucas di Grassi Audi Audi - -
3 Alex Lynn Virgin DS Virgin - -
4 Oliver Turvey NIO NextEV NIO - -
5 Daniel Abt Audi Audi 1m14.224s -2.582
6 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 1m14.320s -2.486
7 Andre Lotterer Techeetah Renault 1m14.442s -2.364
8 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi 1m14.523s -2.283
9 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 1m14.552s -2.254
10 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske 1m14.673s -2.133
11 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 1m14.973s -1.833
12 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 1m15.104s -1.702
13 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Venturi 1m15.493s -1.313
14 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar Jaguar 1m42.656s 25.850s
15 Luca Filippi NIO NextEV NIO 1m15.444s -1.362
16 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar - -
17 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra - -
18 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Penske - -
19 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 1m53.358s 36.552s
20 Tom Blomqvist Andretti Andretti 1m16.424s -0.382

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