Rookie Wehrlein claims first FE pole, Bird starts last

Formula E rookie Pascal Wehrlein claimed his maiden series pole in Mexico City while championship leader Sam Bird will start last on the grid.

Bird went out in the in the first qualifying group but almost as soon as he exited the pits a mechanical issue arose, forcing the Envision Virgin Racing driver to pull over in the stadium section. He will start 22nd on the grid.

Wehrlein set a 59.347-second lap in super pole, setting an almighty final sector to put him 0.306 seconds clear of the Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler of 2016/17 champion Lucas di Grassi. Ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa enjoyed his best FE qualifying in third for Venturi.

Oliver Rowland was the other rookie hit of the session, topping group qualifying but going fourth in super pole, out-qualifying his Nissan e.dams team-mate 2015/16 champion Sebastien Buemi, who was sixth, for the first time.

Ad Diriyah race winner Antonio Felix da Costa was fifth for BMW Andretti, with his team-mate Alexander Sims seventh having missed out on super pole by 0.004 seconds.

Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne was eighth for DS Techeetah, with Edoardo Mortara’s Venturi and Oliver Turvey’s NIO completing the top 10.

Inaugural champion Nelson Piquet was 11th for Jaguar ahead of the second Techeetah of Andre Lotterer.

Current IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar champion Felipe Nasr out-qualified his Geox Dragon team-mate Jose Maria Lopez on his FE debut in 14th and 15th respectively.

Robin Frijns only managed 17th for Virgin and is under investigation for impeding Marrakesh race winner Jerome d’Ambrosio in the stadium section. The Mahindra driver was also held up by the yellow flag put out for the recovery of Bird’s stricken car. He is 19th on the grid.

Daniel Abt made a mistake in the middle sector of his lap, putting his Audi just 21st ahead only of Bird.

Click here to see the full session results.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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