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Santiago Formula E: Jean-Eric Vergne on pole after messy session

Jean-Eric Vergne secured pole position for the Santiago round of the 2017/18 Formula E season, while championship leader Felix Rosenqvist will only start 14th

Vergne was only fourth-fastest in the group stage before all-but-replicating his laptime in the superpole, which proved enough to beat Sebastien Buemi to pole by 0.194 seconds.

Lucas di Grassi qualified third-fastest, but the reigning champion will start 13th after a 10-place grid penalty for a pre-event inverter change on one of his Audi Sport Abt cars.

That promotes Andre Lotterer to third and Sam Bird to fourth, with second-row starts the best both drivers could manage after mistakes in the superpole.

Lotterer was quickest in the group stage, comfortably his most impressive performance in FE so far, but crashed at Turn 1 on his superpole lap and broke the front wing.

He crawled round to the finish, 27s off the pace, but that was enough to earn third because Bird failed to complete his lap.

The Briton lost the rear of his DS Virgin Racing car on the entry to the long Turn 5/6 double-right, and backed it square into the barriers.

Nelson Piquet Jr missed out on a first superpole appearance with Jaguar by a tenth, but secured his best starting position of the season with fifth after di Grassi's penalty.

Alex Lynn, Oliver Turvey, Nico Prost, Jose Maria Lopez and Daniel Abt complete the top 10.

Di Grassi drops to one place ahead of championship leader Rosenqvist, after a terrible session for the Mahindra driver.

Rosenqvist, who had a couple of trips down the escape road in practice, put in a scruffy opening sector and was only 14th-fastest.

He will start nine places behind his nearest pursuer Bird, who trails him by just four points in the championship.

Nick Heidfeld compounded Mahindra's misery by qualifying only 15th.

The session's most costly errors came from Luca Filippi and Mitch Evans, who both visited the Turn 3 escape road and will start 19th and 20th as a result.

Starting grid

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 1m19.161s -
2 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 1m19.355s 0.194s
3 Andre Lotterer Techeetah Renault 1m46.429s 27.268s
4 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin - -
5 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar Jaguar 1m19.300s -
6 Alex Lynn Virgin DS Virgin 1m19.447s -
7 Oliver Turvey NIO NextEV NIO 1m19.574s -
8 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Penske 1m19.662s -
9 Daniel Abt Audi Audi 1m19.726s -
10 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 1m19.623s -
11 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi 1m19.877s -
12 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske 1m19.923s -
13 Lucas di Grassi Audi Audi 1m19.673s -
14 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 1m19.984s -
15 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 1m20.012s -
16 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 1m20.132s -
17 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Venturi 1m20.157s -
18 Tom Blomqvist Andretti Andretti 1m20.422s -
19 Luca Filippi NIO NextEV NIO 1m31.271s -
20 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 1m40.540s -


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