Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans claimed the first ABB Formula E pole for himself and his team for today’s E-Prix in Zurich, which marks the return of racing to Switzerland for the first time in 60 years.
“It’s a long time coming for us,” said Evans, whose best lap of 1m12.811s was 0.137s quicker than second-fastest Andre Lotterer. “We’ve been quick out of the box today…it’s a great feeling and it’s our first pole since Jaguar came back into racing. Let’s hope we can convert that into a win.”
While it was a good session for Evans, it was a disastrous qualifying lap for championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne, capped off by an investigation by the FIA after he reportedly switched into high power mode too early. As it stands, Vergne will start the race in 17th. His chances of wrapping up the championship here in Switzerland could be starting to fade while his Techeetah teammate Lotterer will start the race in second.
Fellow championship hopeful Sam Bird (DS Virgin Racing) had a more promising session thatput him through to the Super Pole shootout. Kissing the wall on his hot lap, Bird pulled back into the garage after posting a 1m13.022s lap — good enough to put him in third for the race. “I feel a little bit frustrated with myself,” said Bird. “But it’s an opportunity…let’s go hunting.”
For teammate Alex Lynn, however, it was less celebratory as the DS driver is under investigation for an unsafe release. As it stands, he will start the race in 12th.
Both Dragon drivers — Jose Maria Lopez and Jerome d’Ambrosio — made it through to Super Pole session, and the pair performed well during the shootout, putting them fourth and fifth for the race. Over at Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler, Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi will start the race in ninth and sixth respectively.
Local hero Sebastien Buemi will start the race in seventh, with his Renault e-DAMS teammate Nico Prost directly behind him in eighth. Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist will start in 10th ahead of his teammate Nick Heidfeld in 13th. For fellow Swiss Edoardo Mortara, it’s 14th place on the grid for the start while his Venturi teammate Maro Engel sits at the back in 18th.
Bringing up the back of the pack will be the NIO Formula E Team drivers after an unremarkable qualifying session, with Oliver Turvey in 20th and Luca Filippi in 19th.