Formula E: Frijns seals pole whilst Mercedes-EQ and Venturi Racing remain in the garage
Robin Frijns took his Envision Virgin Racing car to pole ahead of the second Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Mercedes-EQ and Rokit Venturi Racing were not allowed to leave the garage after an earlier crash for Edoardo Mortara.
Robin Frijns has secured his maiden Formula E pole after a surprisingly near-perfect lap at the Diriyah E-Prix circuit. He set a time of 1:07.889.
“I really didn’t expect it prior to jumping in the car in FP3.” Frijns stated shortly after his lap. “We had a long night yesterday and a lot of work’s been put in and it’s worked out. I’m really happy with the car and what the team did last night. It’s the best position.”
He was joined in Super Pole by Sérgio Sette Câmara, who missed the top spot by a mere 0.289-seconds. He stated “Yesterday I felt like we had the potential to be in Super Pole. It’s hard for everyone to believe after Berlin and I really wanted to prove to everyone that DRAGON can be up there.”
Sam Bird, who has the most pole positions under his belt of any of today’s Super Pole challengers, came in third. He was visibly disappointed, jumping on the radio soon after his lap to complain about his performance.
Both Nio 333 drivers were also in the Super Pole shoot-out, with Oliver Turvey temporarily taking the top spot after Tom Blomqvist’s attempt. They line up fourth and fifth for tomorrow’s race.
Nico Mueller was the first to take to the track, but a mere touch of the dusty area of the track at the start of his flying lap left him unable to set a competitive time. He will start the race in sixth.
After winning the previous day’s race from pole, Nyck de Vries was confined to the garage for today’s qualifying.
A practice start during Free Practice 3 saw Edoardo Mortara make heavy contact with the wall. He was taken to hospital for precautionary assessments and the FIA swiftly made the decision to keep both Rokit Venturi Racing and Mercedes-EQ cars off the track whilst they assessed the cause of the accident.
With four cars missing, qualifying got under way and it didn’t take long for more drama to take place.
Joining the first qualifying group, Mitch Evans and Rene Rast seemed to misjudge the timings. Both the Jaguar Racing and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler machines met the chequered flag having failed to complete a hot-lap on full power. They will start tomorrow’s race in 18th and 19th respectively.
As the track evolved, our reigning champion, Antonio Felix Da Costa topped the second qualifying group. However, he was eventually shuffled back to 10th, where he will start tomorrow’s race.
Jean Eric Vergne and his DS Techeetah machine missed out on Super Pole by a frustrating 0.039-seconds. He will line up in 7th ahead of Sebastian Buemi and Alex Lynn in 8th and 9th.
As we wait for confirmation on Mercedes-EQ and Rokit Venturi Racing’s ability to participate in the race, Frijns will be hoping for his first win since New York, 2019.
Feature Image Credit: Courtesy of Formula E