TAG Heuer Porsche team driver Andre Lotterer snatched away the pole position from Mitch Evens in a thrilling qualifying session for the CBMM Niobium Mexico City E-Prix.
As the lights went green, the six best-placed drivers in the Drivers’ Championship went onto the track to secure a place in the super pole section. According to the regulations, drivers only have one hot lap with full power, prompting them to get the best out of their machine on that critical lap. Sam Bird set the fastest lap with a time of 1m8.394 with championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne just over two tenths of a second slower than the Briton.
As usual in Formula E, the track has improved for the second part of the qualifying session, providing the second group of six drivers with much better grip level. Mitch Evans beat the previous best with a lap time of 1m08.174 while Nick de Vries and Andre Lotterer also went quicker than the fastest driver of the first group Sam Bird.
Interestingly, the next group was unable to light up the timing screens. The quickest driver was Robin Frijns who came in sixth while reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne set the then seventh quickest lap. After overbraking himself into Turn 3, Venturi driver Felipe Massa only set the 17th fastest time.
The third group only consisted of five drivers instead of six as a result of the absence of Daniel Abt. The Audi driver was forced to skip the qualifying session after a heavy crash into the barriers during the first practice session. A software issue on his car led to a nasty impact which the former GP3 driver described as the „hardest crash” of his career.
(1/2) Checked and released from hospital. Thankfully nothing is broken 🙏🏻 That was the hardest crash of my career. The car didn‘t decelerate due to a software issue and I had a 20G impact straight into the barrier... pic.twitter.com/Itt89K6apU— Daniel Abt (@Daniel_Abt) February 15, 2020
When the last six drivers occupied the track, it was Sebastien Buemi who shone the most by securing a place in the super pole section. The Frenchman set the fifth fastest time which was enough to get himself through to the all-important shoot-out session.
The last qualifying segment evolved in a thrilling fashion as drivers continuosly improved the actual best lap time. Sam Bird kicked off the super pole section with a lap time of 1m8.444 which Sebastien Buemi managed to beat. However the Swiss’s kingdom did not last long as Pascal Wehrlein took over the lead with a tiny margin.
Next on the list was Andre Lotterer who put in an impressive performance, setting a lap time of 1m07.922. After messy first sector, Mercedes EQ driver Nick de Vries drove brilliantly in the second sector, but his attempt was only enough for the third place.
At the end of the qualifying session, the fastest driver of the group segment Mitch Evans failed to beat Andre Lotterer, meaning that the former DS Techeetah driver netted his second FE pole by just 0.063 seconds.