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
How Jaguar got its teeth into Formula E's Gen3 development race Plus

How Jaguar got its teeth into Formula E's Gen3 development race

With Mercedes gone and DS moving teams, Jaguar has a big opportunity at the start of Formula E's Gen3 era. The technical challenges in understanding the new car have been vast, with senior figures James Barclay and Phil Charles outlining to Autosport the pitfalls along the way

Formula E
Dec 1, 2022
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2021-22 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2021-22

After a wild 2020-21 season, this year's Formula E campaign had a much stronger narrative to it, but ended with the same result as a driver from the Silver Arrows squad triumphed. Here's our guide to those who shone brightest during the campaign

Formula E
Oct 1, 2022
The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title Plus

The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title

After Nyck de Vries was crowned Formula E champion in 2021, his Mercedes team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne stepped forward this season as the Gen2 era and his team bowed out. As he did on the way to the GP2 crown in 2015, the Belgian achieved a peerless level of consistency and was only outside the points once, with his sole win in Monaco sufficient to head off a chasing pack headed by Mitch Evans

Formula E
Sep 19, 2022
Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season Plus

Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season

With his winning streak coming to an end this season, the 2021-22 Formula E season was tumultuous for Sam Bird, failing to gather momentum as Jaguar generally struggled. But the long-term favourite looks forward to bouncing back next season as the championship enters its new era

Formula E
Aug 30, 2022
What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2 Plus

What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2

The 2021-2022 Formula E season finale brought the curtain down on the Gen2 era of the all-electric world championship. It elevated FE to new heights, fulfilling its intended directive. While it is a good launching pad for the impending Gen3 cycle, there are certain aspects the series must tackle for the new era to have the same impact as its predecessor

Formula E
Aug 16, 2022
The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge Plus

The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge

The odds were heavily stacked in Stoffel Vandoorne’s favour to capture the Formula E crown at the Seoul finale, but chief rival Mitch Evans applied maximum pressure with victory in the first race. It meant Vandoorne had to show his resolve to reproduce the key qualities he held all season to complete his march to the title

Formula E
Aug 15, 2022
Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title? Plus

Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title?

Stoffel Vandoorne is on the brink of the Formula E title with a commanding lead ahead of the Seoul finale, but both rivals and unknowns still stand in his way. Here’s a run through of what Vandoorne must overcome to clinch the championship and how his competition will look to pull off the biggest of shocks

Formula E
Aug 10, 2022
How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon Plus

How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon

It might not look like the most glittering of Formula E campaigns, but Dragon Penske’s youngster has caught the eye of those who count despite his future remaining unclear. Regardless of the distortion, Sergio Sette Camara has a clear vision of what he’s focused on and how to get there

Formula E
Aug 4, 2022