Formula E: Sebastien Buemi celebrates record pole position in Berlin - home setback for Porsche
Sebastien Buemi has taken pole position for Saturday's Formula E race in Berlin - with a broken hand!. The Swiss driver in the Envision beat his old adversary Sam Bird in the qualifying finale at Tempelhof and will thus start the race in first place ahead of his Jaguar brand colleague. Best German was Max Günther (Maserati) in eighth place on the grid. The two Porsche drivers, however, experienced a debacle and must start from far behind.
Group A: Vandoorne again on top, disaster for Porsche
In the first group, some "heavyweights" took to the track, including world championship leader Pascal Wehrlein and Brazil pole sitter Stoffel Vandoorne. In the first half of the twelve-minute session, the reigning Formula E champion was also the fastest. Behind him lined up the two Envision drivers Sebastien Buemi and Nick Cassidy, followed by Jaguar works driver Mitch Evans. Then all the drivers came into the pits for a tire change - Andre Lotterer with one lap "behind" everyone else.
Now it was getting serious for Group A - Buemi opened the time chase. However, hardly anyone was to improve. Sergio Sette Camara alone sensationally made it into the top 4, knocking Evans out of the duel positions. Vandoorne, Buemi and Cassidy qualified for the quarter-finals ahead of him. Edo Mortara only finished sixth ahead of local hero Lotterer. The big disappointment, however, was Porsche: Wehrlein only managed eighth place in his group, and Antonio Felix da Costa only tenth! Nico Müller in the ABT Cupra was still ninth. The last place went to Mahindra driver Oliver Rowland.
Group B: Sam Bird flies, Max Günther in quarter-finals
As one of the favorites Max Günther went into qualifying, after the German had already decided the 2nd Free Practice in the morning in his favor. And indeed it was the Maserati driver who was at the top of the timesheet after just a few minutes. However, Sam Bird undercut him before the tire change. Behind the leading duo came Dan Ticktum and Jake Dennis.
With fresh tires, Günther started with the best time in Sector 1. The second section of the track went to Bird. But even in Group B, there was little improvement worth mentioning toward the end. Bird remained first ahead of Günther, Ticktum and Dennis - both Nio 333 in the quarter-finals! Jean-Eric Vergne narrowly failed to finish in fifth. He was followed by four Nissan cars: Jake Hughes, Rene Rast (both McLaren), Norman Nato and Sacha Fenestraz (both Nissan). Lucas di Grassi and Robin Frijns closed their group in the final positions.
Overview: Formula E qualifying in Berlin
VF1: Nick Cassidy vs. Sebastien Buemi
The two Envision teammates dueled in the first quarterfinal. Buemi was three-tenths of a second quicker than Cassidy in the first sector, but the latter was able to counter in the second section of the track. Cassidy was also faster in the third sector. Nevertheless, the bottom line was that Buemi prevailed by 78 thousandths of a second.
VF2: Sergio Sette Camara vs. Stoffel Vandoorne
It wasn't that close in the second duel. Champion Vandoorne was the faster driver in all three sectors and took a total of more than three and a half tenths of a second off Sette Camara. No questions asked - Vandoorne sovereign in the semifinals.
VF3: Dan Ticktum vs. Max Guenther.
Then it was local hero Günther's turn. In the first sector, both drivers drove identically fast except for one thousandth of a second. In the second section, Günther and Ticktum were also on an equal footing, but in the hairpin Günther made a braking mistake that cost him almost three tenths of a second. Günther thus out, Ticktum in the Nio 333 in the semifinals! "It wasn't a good lap, but I think it's a solid position for the race. Everything is possible," said Günther, who will start eighth.
VF4: Jake Dennis vs. Sam Bird
In the last quarterfinal, Bird got off to a slightly better start. Sector 2 went to Dennis, but both were almost equally fast. In the end, Bird prevailed by less than a tenth of a second, beating his compatriot in the Andretti customer Porsche. At least Dennis' time was good enough for fifth on the grid ahead of Cassidy, Sette Camara and Günther.
HF1: Sebastien Buemi vs. Stoffel Vandoorne
In the first semi-final, two qualifying giants met (cumulative 23 pole positions). Buemi opened the duel and set a good first sector, which Vandoorne could not quite match. In the second sector, both drivers were almost equally good. In the end, Buemi prevailed by just over a tenth of a second - another strong performance from the Swiss! As a result, Buemi is now the sole leader in the statistics for the most Formula E starts from row 1, with one more than Jean-Eric Vergne.
HF2: Sam Bird vs. Dan Ticktum
Clear favorite in the second semifinal was Sam Bird in the Jaguar. The veteran lived up to expectations, although Ticktum didn't do too badly against him. Nevertheless, Bird ultimately gained a total of 1.35 tenths of a second and advanced to the final against Buemi - a true Formula E classic. Ticktum can nevertheless be pleased with fourth place on the grid behind Vandoorne.
Final: Sam Bird vs. Sebastien Buemi
In the final of the "old masters," Buemi got off to the better start in the decisive round. He already took a good two tenths of a second off Bird! In the second section of the track, he was also slightly faster. Although Bird countered once again in the final section of the track, Buemi ultimately decided the final in his favor with a lead of 1.37 tenths of a second. For the Swiss, it is the 16th pole position of his Formula E career. As a result, he is once again the sole record holder in this statistic.
The first race of Berlin begins on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm. ProSieben broadcasts the Berlin E-Prix live on free TV, ran.de on livestream. We will accompany the race as usual in our popular Hankook Formula E Liveticker..