UPDATE: Some two hours after winning pole position on Santiago’s street course, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi has been stripped of the top spot by the FIA, which found the Brazilian driver to be in breach of a new rule and has sent him to the back of the grid for the race start.
Di Grassi was found to have violated the slow “in-lap” requirement during qualifying, which was enacted following the pit lane incident at the last race in Marrakesh, where NIO’s Tom Dillmann crashed into the back of the Envision Virgin Racing cars. As a result, the Brazilian drops to the back of the field for this afternoon’s race, while his old rival Sebastien Buemi will now start from pole position.
In the sweltering heat of the summer sun in Santiago, Chile, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi clinched the pole position for today’s E-Prix but is under investigation by the FIA for a technical infringement during the session with the outcome yet to be decided, which could affect his starting position for the race.
Behind the Brazilian, for now, is Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi. After a shunt in the first practice session of the day, he made his way into Super Pole, posting a lap 0.526s behind di Grassi’s 1m08.290s lap that was the best anyone else could manage.
Buemi will start the race with Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein behind him in third. After misery in Marrakesh during his Formula E debut, the start looks promising for the Formula E rookie. Audi’s Daniel Abt will start in fourth with HWA Racelab’s rookie Stoffel Vandoorne in fifth and Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird rounding off Super Pole in sixth.
Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara will start the race in seventh after a clean lap, just missing out on Super Pole. Behind him is Geox Dragon’s Maximilian Guenther, who will start in eighth with BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Alex Sims behind him in ninth.
Starting three places behind his teammate is Venturi’s Felipe Massa, who closes off the top-10 grid positions. Behind him is Geox Dragon’s Jose-Maria Lopez who starts what Argentinian driver considers to be his ‘home race’ in 11th.
12th place on the grid goes to Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans, who placed a full eight positions ahead of his teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. in 20th. Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah) missed out on Super Pole and will start the race in 13th and wasn’t happy about it (below), while Nissan e.dams’ rookie Oliver Rowland starts 14th.
DS Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer will start in 15th, ahead of Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing), HWA Racelab’s Gary Paffet in 17th and BMW i’s Antonio Felix da Costa in 18th.
For NIO’s Oliver Turvey, the British driver will start the race in 19th, ahead of Piquet Jr and last races’ winner Jerome d’Ambrosio (Mahindra Racing) and fellow NIO driver Tom Dillmann at the back of the grid.