BMW's rookie Dennis takes Valencia Formula E pole - The Race
Formula E

BMW’s rookie Dennis takes Valencia Formula E pole

Apr 25 2021
By Matt Beer

Formula E rookie Jake Dennis gave BMW its first pole since the 2019/20 opener as drying track conditions at Valencia left those at the foot of the championship battling over the top spot.

With the track still damp from morning rain but sun emerging as qualifying began, it was inevitable that the championship leaders running in the first qualifying group would be disadvantaged.

Pascal Wehrlein fared best among them and starts 13th for Porsche.

The Mercedes of Stoffel Vandoorne and championship-leading Nyck de Vries were only 18th and 19th, but like fellow title contender Robin Frijns they’ll gain a place from Mitch Evans being demoted from 16th to 19th with a penalty for his collision with Sergio Sette Camara yesterday. Erstwhile points leader Sam Bird starts just behind Jaguar team-mate Evans in 20th.

Dennis running last in superpole because he had been quickest in group qualifying helped his cause as the track got better with every moment.

He duly beat Andre Lotterer’s Porsche by a massive 0.863s to take pole with a 1m28.548s.

Lotterer – who has had a miserable, crash-filled, season so far and is the only driver in the field yet to score a single point – won’t get to take up that front row start as a penalty for yesterday’s collision with Edoardo Mortara drops him to fifth.

That means Alex Lynn’s Mahindra and NIO333 duo Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Turvey move up to second, third and fourth respectively.

Venturi’s Norman Nato completes an unlikely top six.

Given the improving conditions, group two pacesetter Jean-Eric Vergne can be very proud that his lap held up for seventh on the grid. His DS Techeetah team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa was half a second slower in the same group and starts 12th.

Some drivers will be kicking themselves for not making better use of running in later groups.

Despite being in group three, Lucas di Grassi’s poor lap left him 22nd on the grid.

But Rome race two polesitter Nick Cassidy will be the most frustrated driver of all. His group three lap was looking hugely faster than the opposition before he slid his Envision Virgin Audi wide off track at the final corner before the chicane. That consigned him to 19th initially and then he had the lap deleted for having exceeded track limits in his excursion, dropping him to 23rd.

BMWs will bookend the grid as Dennis’s group three runner team-mate Maximilian Guenther was dropped from an already disappointing 12th to 24th by a lap deletion for track limits.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Car Group 1 Group 2
1 Jake Dennis BMW i Andretti Motorsport BMW iFE.21 1m31.855s 1m28.548s
2 André Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Porsche 99X Electric 1m31.958s 1m29.411s
3 Alex Lynn Mahinda Racing Mahindra M7Electro 1m32.585s 1m29.737s
4 Tom Blomqvist NIO 333 Formula E Team NIO 333 001 1m32.727s 1m30.202s
5 Oliver Turvey NIO 333 Formula E Team NIO 333 001 1m32.95s 1m30.403s
6 Norman Nato RokIT Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m33.155s 1m30.489s
7 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE21 1m33.198s
8 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.DAMS Nissan IM02 1m33.336s
9 Sébastien Buemi Nissan e.DAMS Nissan IM02 1m33.39s
10 Sérgio Sette Câmara Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-4 1m33.452s
11 Alexander Sims Mahinda Racing Mahindra M7Electro 1m33.479s
12 António Félix da Costa DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE21 1m33.604s
13 Pascal Wehrlein TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Porsche 99X Electric 1m33.745s
14 René Rast Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Audi e-tron FE07 1m33.879s
15 Edoardo Mortara RokIT Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m33.898s
16 Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 1m34.115s
17 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing Audi e-tron FE07 1m34.166s
18 Nick Cassidy Envision Virgin Racing Audi e-tron FE07 1m34.378s
19 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m34.416s
20 Nyck de Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m34.419s
21 Sam Bird Jaguar Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 1m34.48s
22 Nico Müller Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-4 1m34.588s
23 Lucas Di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Audi e-tron FE07 1m34.61s
24 Maximilian Günther BMW i Andretti Motorsport BMW iFE.21 1m41.98s

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