Da Costa leads Techeetah sweep of Berlin Race 1 qualifying

Andrew Ferraro/Motorsport Images

Da Costa leads Techeetah sweep of Berlin Race 1 qualifying

Formula E

Da Costa leads Techeetah sweep of Berlin Race 1 qualifying


Antonio Felix da Costa took pole position ahead of DS Techeetah teammate Jean-Eric Vergne for today’s opening round of the ABB Formula E Championship’s return to racing.

Championship leader da Costa’s lap of 1m06.799s around the airport circuit — being run in reverse for today’s first of six races in nine days at the historic German airport to conclude the 2019-20 season — bested Vergne by 0.322s.

In his first Super Pole shootout appearance of the season, reigning champion Vergne threw down the gauntlet with a 1m07.121s to take provisional pole with just teammate da Costa left to run.

It was a special lap from da Costa, though. He had looked composed and searingly quick throughout qualifying and went about Super Pole in much the same way, steering his DS across the line and 0.322 seconds up the road from Vergne despite an untidy-looking final sector.

The Portuguese driver topped the times in regular qualifying, too, meaning he adds four points to his total even prior to today’s race.

Andre Lotterer left nothing on the table as he tore around Tempelhof to take third in the TAG Heuer Porsche, with his first sector among the quickest we’d seen so far by the time his shot at Super Pole came around.

Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi snatched fourth, with Practice 2 pace-setter Nyck de Vries taking fifth spot for Mercedes-Benz EQ. Jerome D’Ambrosio (Mahindra Racing) was sixth.

Da Costa’s closest current rival in the drivers standings, Jaguar Panasonic Racing man Mitch Evans, lines up in ninth having missed out on Super Pole by just a tenth of a second.

The BMW i Andretti Motorsport pairing of Max Guenther and Alex Sims, meanwhile, find themselves down in 13th and 17th respectively after a head-scratching session left them uncharacteristically lacking ultimate pace.

The race airs live on FS2 at 1 p.m. ET, and replays tonight on FS1 at 10:30 p.m.