Evans top Formula E title contender after fraught qualifying - The Race
Formula E

Evans top Formula E title contender after fraught qualifying

Aug 13 2022

Formula E’s remaining 2022 championship contenders Mitch Evans, Edoardo Mortara and Stoffel Vandoorne will start third, sixth and seventh respectively after a fraught wet qualifying for the first leg of the Seoul finale.

Jean-Eric Vergne’s very faint title hopes are over – he needed to get a maximum score from the weekend including pole bonuses but was knocked out in the group qualifying stage and starts ninth for DS Techeetah.

None of the title rivals made it to the final duel over pole – which was a battle between 2023 Mahindra team-mates Oliver Rowland and Lucas di Grassi.

Rowland was in extraordinary form in the very wet last stages of qualifying, displaying amazing car control as he dismissed Pascal Wehrlein by 1.6s in the semis and current Venturi driver di Grassi by half a second in the final – joking on the radio that it was the “first arse-kicking” for his 2023 team-mate!

It’s Rowland’s first pole since Puebla last June, when he was with Nissan, and Mahindra’s first since last July’s London event.

The rain started just after the first qualifying group’s initial flying laps were complete. Venturi driver Mortara was outside the cut-off for the duels stage at that point, but pushed on and produced a great lap on the increasingly slippery track to jump to first place.

That pushed Vandoorne’s Mercedes down to fourth and at risk of elimination if anyone else improved. He was sent back out of the pits to try to protect his position but found the track too wet to gain any time. But with everyone else finding the same, Vandoorne stayed fourth and went through.

Evans’s progress out of the group stage was even more nerve-wracking. The Jaguar driver had been unhappy with his car in practice, had an early spin in group B qualifying and was outside the duels places going into the final moments.

He scraped into the crucial fourth place with his last effort, only to then see it immediately deleted on the grounds that he hadn’t respected the 100-second minimum pit time. That put Vergne back into fourth and kept his title hopes alive.

But Evans’s engineer Josep Roca ordered him to stay in the car, saying Jaguar was objecting because the pit visit had come during a mid-session red flag for an Alexander Sims crash, meaning the usual time rule was effectively not applicable.

The officials duly agreed, Evans went through and Vergne was out.

Evans then beat Mortara by a commanding 1.1s in their quarter-final on an increasingly wet track, but was beaten by di Grassi in the semis, leaving him third on the grid.

Vandoorne didn’t get past the quarter-finals, outpaced by Wehrlein and ruing the fact group B qualifying runners like his Porsche opponent had more wet track time.

Evans therefore goes into the race with Wehrlein and Jake Dennis between himself and Mortara and Vandoorne.

To take the title in race one, Vandoorne needs to ensure Evans doesn’t outscore him by seven points and Mortara doesn’t outscore him by 12.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Car Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
1 Oliver Rowland Mahindra Racing Mahindra M8Electro 1m30.345s 1m32.59s 1m34.88s 1m35.406s
2 Lucas Di Grassi ROKiT Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m30.726s 1m31.735s 1m35.692s 1m36.029s
3 Mitch Evans Jaguar TCS Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 1m31.244s 1m31.293s 1m35.884s
4 Pascal Wehrlein TAG Heuer Porsche Porsche 99X Electric 1m30.321s 1m35.117s 1m36.517s
5 Jake Dennis Avalanche Andretti BMW i FE.21 1m22.441s 1m32.424s
6 Edoardo Mortara ROKiT Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m22.397s 1m32.442s
7 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m22.542s 1m35.401s
8 Sérgio Sette Câmara Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-5 1m22.477s
9 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE21 1m30.811s
10 SĂ©bastien Buemi Nissan e.Dams Nissan IM03 1m22.732s
11 Norman Nato Jaguar TCS Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 1m30.943s
12 AntĂłnio FĂ©lix da Costa DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE21 1m22.793s
13 Daniel Ticktum NIO 333 Racing NIO 333 001 1m31.577s
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-5 1m22.837s
15 Nyck de Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m31.704s
16 Robin Frijns Envision Racing Audi e-tron FE07 1m23.057s
17 Maximilian GĂĽnther Nissan e.Dams Nissan IM03 1m31.84s
18 Oliver Turvey NIO 333 Racing NIO 333 001 1m23.214s
19 Nick Cassidy Envision Racing Audi e-tron FE07 1m32.387s
20 André Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche Porsche 99X Electric 1m23.331s
21 Alexander Sims Mahindra Racing Mahindra M8Electro 1m33.592s
22 Oliver Askew Avalanche Andretti BMW i FE.21 1m22.749s

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