Championship leader Antonio Felix da Costa kept his hot streak going in qualifying for today’s second round of the ABB Formula E Championship’s Berlin marathon. The Portugueuse driver swept to his second pole position in as many days on the historic Tempelhof circuit, which like yesterday’s race is being in reverse of its traditional direction. Races 3 and 4/season rounds 8-9 this weekend will run in the opposite direction, while next week’s final two rounds will be run on a revised track configuration.
Da Costa was again quick right out of the blocks in qualifying, storming to the top of Group 1 by 0.357s, with Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird the closest. Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi eclipsed da Costa in overall group times, but in the Super Pole shootout, da Costa had the final say. Once again, he looked at one with his DS Techeetah entry, chewing chunks of a second out of his rivals over the lap to wind up 0.4s clear. Buemi was the last driver to run and managed second spot.
“It was another nice lap, carrying on from where we left off yesterday,” said da Costa. “Everyone’s just getting really close now and we saw that in practice with 15 cars separated by half a second.
“I’m just enjoying it and having so much fun. I want to say thanks to everyone involved with this incredible team for putting all this together.
“I’m really excited to race again and we all want to produce a good show. We race each other hard but there’s a lot of respect between us drivers.”
Alex Lynn followed with the third-fastest time, and was just a tenth shy of Buemi’s best effort. The Mahindra Racing new-boy impressed in the early stages of Round 6 and looks like he’s growing into his seat yet further.
Mercedes-Benz EQ’s Nyck de Vries produced a typically tidy lap to take fourth spot, while Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing) took fifth, his besting starting position of the year.
Those closest to da Costa in the points table struggled to hook things up, Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing) winding up 17th, Max Guenther (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) 11th, his BMW teammate Alex Sims 15th and Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-Benz EQ) 13th. Making things even worse for Sims, he will drop 20 places down the grid after the team changed his car’s battery prior to the session.
Today’s race airs live on FS2 at 1 p.m. ET, and replays tonight on FS1 at 7 p.m.