Mitch Evans won the final duel against Jean-Eric Vergne to take inaugural Formula E pole in Hyderabad EPrix.
The first group in Formula E Hyderabad EPrix qualifying saw a big fall from Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein as he didn’t make it in the next part ending up sixth in the order. McLaren’s Jake Hughes led the way with a 1m14.121s lap from Jaguar’s Mitch Evans.
Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz in third and Envision’s Sebastien Buemi in fourth made it in the next part but Hughes was put under investigation for being under the pit time. Nissans Maximilian Guenther was fifth from the aforementioned Wehrlein.
The Porsche driver is under investigation for impeding against NIO’s Sergio Sette Camara who was ninth behind Mahindra’s Oliver Rowland and Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa as DS Penske’s Stoffel Vandoorne and Mahindra’s Lucas di Grassi rounded out the 11 drivers.
Both the Porsche and Mahindra drivers were knocked out in the first part itself with di Grassi having an off-moment as well on the run-off. Hughes had his lap time deleted which changed the order to Evans from Fenestraz, Buemi and Guenther as the four to make in.
The second part saw DS’ Jean-Eric Vergne lead the way initially when the session was red-flagged after ABT’s Kelvin van der Linde went straight on at the Turn 16-17 run-off with another frustrating session for the South African.
The late lap from Maserati’s Edoardo Mortara helped him in the Top 4 and onto the next part as McLaren’s Rene Rast set the pace with a 1m14.091s lap which was 0.004s quicker from DS’ Vergne with Jaguar’s Sam Bird in third.
The late push from Mortara pushed Envision’s Nick Cassidy to sixth from Andretti’s Jake Dennis, Nissan’s Norman Nato, NIO’s Dan Ticktum, ABT’s Nico Mueller and Andretti’s Andre Lotterer as ABT’s van der Linde was 11th but without a proper time.
First up in the lot were Envision’s Buemi and Nissan’s Fenestraz where the former led the way in Sector 1 but the Swiss then lost time in Sector 2 before regaining it in Sector 3 to set a 1m13.599s to the latter’s 1m13.702s.
The second pair saw Maserati’s Guenther against Jaguar’s Evans where the latter kept his nose clean and ahead of the former throughout the lap to win it after setting a 1m13.526s to the German’s 1m14.621s – nearly a second slower for the Maserati driver.
The third lot was Jaguar’s Bird against DS’ Vergne where it was a close battle between the two. The former was ahead in both the sectors to set a 1m13.467s to make it through despite late push from Vergne who set a 1m13.506s lap.
The final battle had Maserati’s Mortara against McLaren’s Rast where the former led the initially but the latter clawed back into the lead. However, a mistake from the German cost him the duel with the Swiss driver setting a 1m13.749s to 1m14.332s lap.
As they geared up for the semi-finals, the FIA noted about the lap deletion for Bird, Mortara and Rast due to track limits. The Brit was livid after complaining about this happening in press conference as Vergne was through to semi-finals ahead of him.
The first fight was between Envision’s Buemi and Jaguar’s Evans after much delay. The latter led the way all-through with a good margin to win the semi-final and make it in the finals after setting a 1m13.250s against 1m13.533s.
With the laps of both Mortara and Rast deleted, no one actually faced Vergne in as he made it in the finals after setting a 1m13.472s lap. The Frenchman went up against Evans for pole where the former gained time in Sector 1 but the latter didn’t hold back.
He was up in Sector 2 and despite the claw back from Vergne in Sector, Evans took Formula E Hyderabad EPrix pole by 0.021s after a 1m13.228s lap against 1m13.249s lap in what can be categorised as a semi-home race for Jaguar team.
Here’s the order:
#ABBFormulaE #HyderabadEPrix After a flurry of issues in qualifying, including a red flag and deleted laptimes due to tracklimits, here's the provisional startinggrid for the EPrix in about 2 and a half hours time. #MsportXtra @FormulaEZone @DarshanChokhani @HiHyderabad pic.twitter.com/LGVrfKCxzN
— #MsportXtra © (@MsportXtra) February 11, 2023