Formula E: Vandoorne claims pole for season finale in Berlin

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Mercedes-EQ driver Stoffel Vandoorne secured the pole position for the season-closing Berlin E-Prix with his team mate, Nyck de Vries, who leads the championship standings, finishing down in P13. F1Technical's Balázs Szabó is reporting from the Berlin FE paddock.

After the frenetic opening Berlin E-Prix on Saturday, drivers were back in action this morning with two practice sessions opening the last race day of the 2020/2021 FIA Formula E World Championship.

One could assume that drivers were bored in the practice sessions after they had gained a wealth of experience yesterday.However, it was far from that easy as the field raced yesterday on the traditional Berlin layout while the direction has been reverted for today’s action with drivers using the NILREB layout on the final day of the season.

After the first four qualifying sessions, Vandoorne found himself at the top of the standings, followed by Oliver Rowland and Norman Nato. The three other drivers to get into the super pole session were Alexander Sims, Tom Blomqvist and Mitch Evans with the Nio 333 driver causing a real surprise with his eye-catching pace.

When it came to the fastest six drivers, Vandoorne did not fail to impress by clocking a time of 1m06.794, which was just a tenth of a second slower than his previous best time. The Belgian driver failed to score any points yesterday, but his fastest lap in the first qualifying session and the pole position saw him add four points to his tally in the championship.

Nissan e.dams driver Oliver Rowland ended up second, followed by Mitch Evans, who sits fourth in the standings only five points shy of championship leader Nyck de Vries. Sims finished fourth, followed by Blomqvist while Venturi driver Nato was unable to take part in the shoot-out due to a technical issue.

Evans, who is a real championship protagonist, commented: “It’s surprising to be honest because traditionally Group 1 is a hinderance. We weren’t the quickest in FP2 but I was happy with my lap.

„The tension was rising and my Super Pole lap wasn’t as good as Group 1. To be third is ideal with the championship situation. You’ve got to go all out I think but the team will be there to guide me through it,” the New-Zealander said.

For the other title protagonists, the qualifying session was not a happy affair. Jake Dennis left best of the rest of those right at the sharp end in the battle for the Drivers’ crown but found himself outside of the Super Pole cut-off. The Brit starts a workable ninth, ahead of current standings leader Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ), who’ll line up 13th.

Defending champion Antonio Felix da Costa finds himself down in 15th with Lucas di Grassi set to start the Berlin finale 17th.