18 Sep 20
05 Aug 20
Current Drivers’ Championship leader Antonio Felix da Costa sealed a scorching Julius Baer Pole Position for Round 6 of the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Berlin, heading a DS Techeetah front-row lockout with Jean-Eric Vergne lining up second.
Da Costa clinched pole last time out in Marrakesh and showed little sign of delivering anything less at Tempelhof, with his time in qualifying 0.145 seconds quicker than his nearest threat in the session, Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi.
Vergne made a first Super Pole appearance of the season after clawing back some qualifying pace that he, by his own admission, had been missing in the first five rounds this season. The reigning champion threw down the gauntlet with a 1:07.121 and the provisional benchmark, with just team-mate da Costa left to run.
It was a special lap from da Costa, though. He had looked composed and searingly quick throughout qualifying and went about Super Pole in much the same way, steering his DS across the line and 0.322 seconds up the road from Vergne with a 1:06.799. Ominously for his rivals, this was in spite of an untidy-looking final sector.
The Portuguese driver topped the timesheets in qualifying, too, meaning he adds four points to his total even prior to today’s race.
"The first time I drove the car again I felt a little out of sync but after a few laps it all just came back naturally," he said.
"From then on, we just got our foot down and got on with our work. This team is amazing and they’ll do whatever it takes at all hours to win. The result is clear to see with the one-two in qualifying for the team."
"Antonio did a good lap and congratulations to him," said Vergne. "Second is a very good result for me – it’s the first time I’ve been in Super Pole this year.
"I was far away in the practice sessions and I’m still having a lot of difficulties with the brakes. The pace has come back in qualifying, which I’ve missed so far, and the pace in the races has been stronger, so I’m expecting a good race this afternoon."
Andre Lotterer left nothing on the table as he tore around Tempelhof to take third in the TAG Heuer Porsche, with his first sector among the quickest we’d seen by the time his shot at Super Pole came around.
Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi snatched fourth, with Practice 2 pace-setter Nyck de Vries following up his earlier promise with fifth spot for Mercedes-Benz EQ. Jerome D’Ambrosio (Mahindra Racing) rounded a strong sixth.
Da Costa’s closest rival in the Drivers’ standings - Jaguar Panasonic Racing man Mitch Evans - lines up in ninth having missed out on Super Pole by just a tenth of a second.
The BMW i Andretti Motorsport pairing of Max Guenther and Alex Sims, meanwhile, find themselves down in 13th and 17th respectively after a head-scratching session left both uncharacteristically lacking ultimate pace.
With just a second between first and 21st position, there was little to no room for any kind of error in qualifying, and it's advantage da Costa ahead of the Berlin E-Prix Round 6 Presented by CBMM Niobium, set for 19:00 local time.
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