Formula E in Mexico: Pascal Wehrlein wins qualifying & takes 1st pole position of the 2024 season
Great start for Porsche: Pascal Wehrlein secured pole position in qualifying for the Formula E season opener in Mexico. The German prevailed in the final duel against Sebastien Buemi (Envision). The two Jaguar drivers Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans finished behind the finalists, but had to accept a demotion. As a result, Max Günther moves up to grid position 3.
Group A: Frijns reports back to the front, di Grassi crashes
As usual, the first six minutes of Group A were all about setting a competitive bunker lap and preparing as best as possible for the decisive attempts. While Norman Nato touched the wall slightly, Pascal Wehrlein set the best time in the first half of the session, followed by Sam Bird and Nick Cassidy. The latter experienced a minor scare at the exit of the stadium when he almost ran into the slow Stoffel Vandoorne - leaving team boss James Barclay shaking his head in the Jaguar pit.
Then things got serious for Group A. Robin Frijns set a new best time. Vandoorne, Nato and Bird lined up behind him, all of whom improved their times. But the decisive attempt was yet to come. Frijns was no longer able to improve, nor was Vandoorne. Nevertheless, the two remained in front. Cassidy climbed to third place at the last moment and Wehrlein also entered the duel phase in fourth place.
Lucas di Grassi - who sensationally took pole position a year ago - lost his ABT Cupra in the chicane and hit the side of the kerb with the rear. The places outside the top four were taken by Nato, Sacha Fenestraz, Bird, Edo Mortara, debutant Jehan Daruvala, di Grassi and Dan Ticktum.
Group B: Günther confident, Dennis eliminated!
Group B also got off to a slow start. Jake Dennis underlined his claims to be champion and took the lead in the first half ahead of co-favourite Mitch Evans. Sergio Sette Camara and Jake Hughes completed the interim top 4, before all the riders had to change tyres. A short time later, Max Günther snatched the best time from the reigning champion, with Hughes behind him.
Evans drove counter-cyclically to his rivals and had to contend with a lot of traffic as a result. Nevertheless, he moved up to position 3. However, brand colleague Sebastien Buemi in the Envision was faster than the Jaguar driver, who now had to jitter. But it was to be enough for him, as Dennis made a crucial mistake in qualifying in the same place as last year and thus retired in seventh place!
Günther took the group win ahead of Hughes, Buemi and Evans. Jean-Eric Vergne narrowly missed out in fifth ahead of a strong Nico Müller in the ABT car. Behind Dennis, Antonio Felix da Costa, Sette Camara, Oliver Rowland and Nyck de Vries lined up disappointingly. The Formula E returnee in the Mahindra was a full 8.94 tenths of a second off the lead!
Overview: Formula E Qualifying in Mexico City
QF1: Nick Cassidy vs Stoffel Vandoorne
In the first duel, Nick Cassidy made an impressive start in the first sector and extended his lead in the second part of the track. Although the Jaguar driver lost a good three tenths of a second in sector 3, Vandoorne ultimately came no closer than 2.5 tenths to Cassidy. World championship runner-up Cassidy continues in commanding fashion!
QF2: Pascal Wehrlein vs Robin Frijns
Pascal Wehrlein opened the second quarter-final with good pace. Robin Frijns, on the other hand, made a big mistake in turn 1, barely avoiding the wall and losing 1.3 seconds to Wehrlein. The German Porsche driver added another second to his lead and advanced to the semi-finals with ease.
QF3: Sebastien Buemi vs. Jake Hughes
Jake Hughes opened up a three-tenths of a second lead over Sebastien Buemi in Sector 1, but the Swiss countered with two strong sectors. In the end, he finished a good two tenths of a second ahead and qualified for the final four.
QF4: Mitch Evans vs Max Günther
Mitch Evans opened the last quarter-final duel with a very good first sector, in which he beat Max Günther by two tenths of a second. The other two sectors also went to the Jaguar driver, so that in the end he prevailed over the German by more than four tenths of a second. Three Jaguar cars and one Porsche in the semi-finals!
SF1: Nick Cassidy vs. Pascal Wehrlein
Cassidy and Wehrlein had previously met four times in qualifying - Cassidy was the winner on three occasions. The New Zealander got off to a good start, but Wehrlein was almost as fast! In sector 2, however, Wehrlein even managed to be a good one and a half tenths of a second faster! As both were almost equally fast again in the final section, Wehrlein ended up with a 1.3 tenths of a second advantage! A surprisingly strong performance from the German and a real exclamation mark against a slightly favoured runner-up!
SF2: Sebastien Buemi vs Mitch Evans
In the duel between the Jaguar drives, customer team driver Buemi got off to the slightly better start. Evans also lost some time to the veteran in the second part of the race. Buemi even extended his lead in sector 3 to 3.4 tenths of a second and advanced to the final because Evans was unable to match his time from the quarter-final - the next surprise in qualifying in Mexico! Buemi thus in the final against Wehrlein.
Final: Pascal Wehrlein vs Sebastien Buemi
Wehrlein took to the track first in the qualifying final. The Porsche driver led the way with a strong first sector and pulled out a minimal lead. Buemi was unable to match Wehrlein's pace in the second sector and continued to pull away. Although the final sector went to the Swiss driver in the Envision, he finished 2.51 tenths of a second behind. Wehrlein in pole position!
This is the German's fourth pole position of his Formula E career. He took all four in Mexico - three in Mexico City and one in Puebla. After his victory two years ago, Wehrlein is one of the favourites this time too, but there are several Jaguar cars lurking behind him. As a reminder, there had already been several grid penalties after the free practice sessions. As a result, both Jaguar drivers - Cassidy and Evans - as well as Stoffel Vandoorne each move down one position on the grid. The 2024 Formula E season kicks off on Saturday evening at 9 pm (CET).