Mexico City E-Prix – Wehrlein puts Porsche on pole for Mexico while Mortara took the drama points crossing the line sideways.
It was a leisurely start to the qualifying session, with cars heading out in dribs and drabs over the first few minutes of the group’s allotted time. After the first round of laps it was Jean-Eric Vergne on top with a 1:08.072.
As the track quieted with all of the cars in the pits for tyre changes for the final quick runs, it was Andre Lotterer fastest in FP2 and P2 in FP2, with a 1:07.954 who was at the top of the list, with Edoardo Mortara, Vergne and Maximilian Guenther in the other provisional duel positions.
While Mortara did briefly snatch P1 from the Porsche, there was no stopping Lotterer who has certainly been on the pace today and took P1 with a 1:07.675. Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne will also progress.
Oliver Rowland had a lockup at the start of his last attempt which left him out of contention while Sebastien Buemi, who had been in the top four in both practice sessions could only bring his Nissan e.dams home in P9.
After the opening flurry of laps it was Antonio Felix da Costa quickest with a 1:07.801 with Pascal Wehrlein, Alexander Sims and Nyck de Vries in the progression slots, with the two Jaguars just outside in P5 and P6.
Just before the mid-session tyre changes Robin Frijns had snuck his Envision into P2, slotting nicely half-way into the 2 hundredths of a second gap between da Costa and Wehrlein. On a clear track, Nick Cassidy had improved in P4, but the rest of the group soon joined him on the circuit and he was just pipped by de Vries.
So it was another Porsche topping a group with Wehrlein ahead of da Costa, Frijns and de Vries. It was another less than ideal qualifying for Jaguar as they could only manage P6 and P9.
The shoot-outs were then set as two Porsche/Mercedes duels, an all-Techeetah showdown, while Mortara and Frijns would have another German-powered battle as they run Mercedes and Audi powertrains respectively.
De Vries vs Lotterer, Frijns vs Mortara, da Costa vs Vergne, and Vandoorne vs Wehrlein.
The first two duels saw de Vries and Frijns, despite a messy start to the Envision driver’s lap, have the initial advantage but their rivals but Lotterer and Mortara pulled the gap back before extending it to comfortably set the faster times and continue in the fight for pole.
The Techeetah showdown was the closest of the lot with the advantage swinging between da Costa and Vergne and ending with 0.011 between their times but it was the two-time champion that stayed in the running.
The final duel saw Vandoorne skimming the wall at T1 and kicking up dirt, leaving him six tenths back after the first sector although the Mercedes driver did pull time back through the rest of the lap, the damage was done and it was two-nil to Porsche.
Mortara vs Lotterer, and Vergne vs Wehrlein.
It was a very tidy start for Mortara while Lotterer made a mistake at T3 which left him nearly three tenths back. The Porsche driver steadily closed the gap but it wasn’t enough to seal the deal, missing out on the final by 0.067 seconds.
The second semi-final saw Vergne and Wehrlein almost equal initially but Wehrlein then pulled a gap and while the Frenchman did make time back, the Porsche driver aced his final sector to post the best lap of the day, a 1:07.035.
Mortara vs Wehrlein
Formula E kept the most dramatic for last as while Mortara had the initial advantage, he couldn’t hold off the charge from Wehrlein. The Venturi car was not happy going around the Peraltada and on the start-finish straight went into a spin, taking the chequered flag sideways but luckily avoiding the walls.
Crossing the line @edomortara style 😉
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) February 12, 2022
Lotterer will line up right behind his teammate in P3, as his semi-sinal time was quicker than Vergne. The quarter-finalists will also be ordered by times and that means da Costa takes P5, De Vries P6, Frijns P7 and Vandoorne P8.
As Wehrlein started the day in group B, that means the rest of that group will take the odd grid spaces, so Cassidy will be P9 while the first non-quarter-finalists from group A, Guenther, will be P10.