Punta del Este Formula E: Debut pole for ex-F1 man Jean-Eric Vergne

Former Toro Rosso Formula 1 racer Jean-Eric Vergne will start his first-ever Formula E race from pole position after setting the quickest time in Punta del Este qualifying

Punta del Este Formula E: Debut pole for ex-F1 man Jean-Eric Vergne

Despite running in the first session, which is usually slowest due to the track cleaning up through the four-session qualifying process, Vergne set an unbeatable 1m15.408s laptime, brushing a wall along the way in his Andretti-run car.

The performance was a brilliant effort given that he had never driven the Spark-Renault until this weekend.

In the second session, Sebastien Buemi looked the man most likely to topple his fellow ex-Toro Rosso racer, and set the fastest first sector but locked up at Turn 17. His DAMS team-mate Nico Prost then pipped Buemi on his last lap by 0.12 seconds.

But neither DAMS car will start from the front row, as Nelson Piquet Jr annexed second on the grid with a storming final sector in his China Racing machine. His lap was only 0.122s off Vergne's pole time.

The shock of the third session was Malaysia winner Sam Bird crashing out on his first flying lap at Turn 17. His Virgin car nosed into the TechPro barrier, and took no further part in the session.

Jerome d'Ambrosio also crashed, his right-rear clipping the wall at the exit of Turn 1, and he too failed to set a time.

Bird's team-mate Jaime Alguersuari will start fifth, having topped practice in the morning, with championship leader Lucas di Grassi next up for Abt, just 0.05s slower.

Jarno Trulli and Bruno Senna will share row four, ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Daniel Abt.

As expected, due to the low grip levels of the beachside street circuit, there were plenty of spins and collisions with the walls.

Antonio Felix da Costa brushed the fence at the quick chicane, but not before he'd set the 13th fastest time. Stephane Sarrazin will start next to him, but spun at Turn 1.

Matthew Brabham hit the wall in the second session, damaging his Andretti car on his first flying lap and joining the list of drivers who failed to record a time.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Jean-Eric Vergne Andretti 1m15.408s -
2 Nelson Piquet Jr. China 1m15.530s 0.122s
3 Nicolas Prost e.dams 1m15.722s 0.314s
4 Sebastien Buemi e.dams 1m15.842s 0.434s
5 Jaime Alguersuari Virgin 1m16.053s 0.645s
6 Lucas di Grassi Abt 1m16.108s 0.700s
7 Jarno Trulli Trulli 1m16.144s 0.736s
8 Nick Heidfeld Venturi 1m16.225s 0.817s
9 Daniel Abt Abt 1m16.374s 0.966s
10 Karun Chandhok Mahindra 1m16.416s 1.008s
11 Oriol Servia Dragon 1m16.811s 1.403s
12 Antonio Felix da Costa Aguri 1m16.865s 1.457s
13 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi 1m17.025s 1.617s
14 Antonio Garcia China 1m17.653s 2.245s
15 Salvador Duran Aguri 1m17.810s 2.402s
16 Michela Cerruti Trulli 1m20.206s 4.798s
- Sam Bird Virgin - -
- Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon - -
- Bruno Senna Mahindra - -
- Matthew Brabham Andretti - -

shares
comments
Punta del Este Formula E: Virgin's Jaime Alguersuari leads practice
Previous article

Punta del Este Formula E: Virgin's Jaime Alguersuari leads practice

Next article

Punta del Este Formula E: Buemi wins, late drama for Vergne

Punta del Este Formula E: Buemi wins, late drama for Vergne
Load comments
How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself Plus

How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race-winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Plus

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Plus

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Plus

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Plus

How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning Plus

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Plus

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021