Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein secured pole position in just his third Formula E qualifying session for the Mexico City E-Prix ahead of Lucas Di Grassi and Felipe Massa.
The former Formula 1 and DTM driver set a blistering lap time of 59.347 seconds to take pole from Di Grassi by over three-tenths.
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit wasn’t as dusty as people feared heading into the weekend, leading to each group having similar track conditions during their respective sessions.
Oliver Rowland set the benchmark from the group qualifiers with a 59.593s, marginally beating fellow FE rookies Wehrlein and Massa. Di Grassi, Rowland’s Nissan team-mate Sebastien Buemi, and Antonio Felix da Costa joined them in the super-pole session.
The key to Wehrleins pole was the final sector as he was more than two-tenths quicker on that part of the to Di Grassi.
Rowland’s own lap looked strong, as he set a quicker opening sector than Wehrlein. However, after losing time in sector two Rowland locked up on the entry to the final chicane, but he still salvaged fourth to finish ahead of Da Costa and team-mate Buemi.
Alexander Sims will start seventh for BMW on the fourth row of the grid alongside reigning FE champion Jean-Eric Vergne, while Edoardo Mortara and Oliver Turvey rounded out the top ten for Venturi and NIO in ninth and 10th respectively.
Championship leader Sam Bird endured a nightmare qualifying session as his Envision Virgin machine ground to a halt on his out-lap with a mechanical problem, meaning the Santiago E-Prix winner failed to set a time and will start from the back of the grid for today’s race.
His closest rival in the championship Jerome D’Ambrosio didn’t fare much better as the Belgian qualified 20th.
Last season’s Mexico E-Prix winner Daniel Abt also had a qualifying to forget, as the German failed to put a competitive full-power lap together, limiting him to 21st on the grid and last out of the drivers to set a qualifying time.