Formula E | Berlin E-Prix | Qualifying: Astonishing ABT front row lockout

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In a crazy turn of events, Robin Frijns scores his second pole position in Formula E, followed by his teammate Nico Müller and Buemi in Envision.

Credit: ABT Cupra Formula E Media Kit

It’s the second Qualifying round of the weekend in Berlin, and the weather conditions are rather different to yesterday as it started to rain again in between FP3 and the beginning of Group A.

None of the the last three race winners had made his way to the duels, will this trend follow in today’s race as well? And how much of an impact will the peculiar wet track conditions make on the starting order?

In the first group we have Pascal Wehrlein, Jean-Eric Vergne, Jake Dennis, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Rene Rast, Andre Lotterer, Lucas Di Grassi, Norman Nato, Oliver Rowland, Sacha Fenestraz and Nico Muller.

The first attempts sees Muller, Da Costa, Dennis and Vergne through to the duels, with the championship leader last. Rast, who didn’t get any running time in FP3 due to power issues, is just ahead of him.

Muller’s 1:19.476 resists as top time even with five minutes to go, as all drivers are struggling with spray and visibility. Former champion Di Grassi is seen driving one handed in order to try and clean his visor.

Time are improving as Dennis, after being in P2 by 0.009s for most of the session, goes quickest, but it doesn’t last long as Wehrlein goes slightly fastest. At the moment, Muller and Vergne are making their way to the duels.

Rast in this phase is 3 seconds off the pace, and returns to the pits with three minutes to go, but manages to sign a better lap. In the final, heated moments of the session Muller goes fastest, di Grassi drifts slightly off track. It wasn’t a positive session for Nissan, with both drivers seconds off the group pace in these harsh conditions. Onthe other hand, it’s the first time this season ABT has moved to the duels stage.

Through the duels from Group A: Vergne, Wehrlein, Muller, Dennis.

Group B sees on track the Envision, Jaguar, NIO and Maserati drivers, as well as Hughes, Vandoorne and Frijns.

All the drivers go out for push laps, with Frijns 0.700s faster than anyone else at first and Cassidy in P2. The ABT driver then has to battle with race winner Mitch Evans for the lead of the group.

Five minutes in the session, the heated battle sees Frijns prevailing on Evans, and the Envision drivers through to the duels as well, with rain starting to pour again on track.

Evans returns to the pits in order to get a better track position, as Sam Bird makes his way to the duels for an handful of seconds before Buemi resumes his spot. Yesterday on the podium, Maximilian Gunther is instead struggling today last in the group.

In the final moments of the session, yesterday’s pole sitter Buemi goes fastest due to an impressive middle sector and Vandoorne slots in P5 ahead of Bird.

After never making it to the duels, and in Robin Frijns’s second weekend in a Gen3 car, both ABT drivers are in the final qualifying stage today in wet conditions.

Thtough the duels from Group B: Buemi, Frijns, Evans, Cassidy.

Quarter final 1 sees ABT’s Nico Muller against championship leader Pascal Wehrlein. It was a tight round with many lead swaps, but in the end Muller makes his way to the semi finals by 0.312s.

Dennis and Vergne are on next. The DS-PENSKE driver had a consistent advantage on the British driver throughout the whole session, concluding with almost half a second gap to Dennis.

The third duel faces yesterday’s race winner Mitch Evans and winner of the first wet Formula E race Robin Frijns. At first the Kiwi driver had a 0.300s gap over the ABT driver, but Frijns managed to catch, revealing to be an extremely close one as Frijns passes to the duels by 0.069s in spite of 74% of the voters favoring the Jaguar driver

After some spicy radio messages earlier between teammates, the Envisions drivers are up for the last quarter final round. Cassidy starts slightly ahead of Buemi, but the former polesitter quickly catches up, developing a 0.300s gap. Surprisingly enough for everyone, even for the driver himself who replied to the radio announcement “How?”, it’s Cassidy who makes it to the semi finals by five hundredths of a second.

However, after the start of the first semi, his lap time was announced to be deleted due to an “improper use of the 350kW mode”

The first semifinal sees Vergne against Muller. The French driver began ahead of Muller by 0.102s, but the ABT driver caught up developing a 0.132s advantage. Two very different racing lines make for another extremely close round, but in the end it’s the former Dragon Penske driver ahead with 0.060s.

Frijns versus Buemi takes place afterwards, with the former starting with a good gap over the Envision driver. Buemi went fastest in the middle, but in the end it’ll be an ABT front row lockup as Frijns develops a huge 0.300s gap over the Swiss driver in the final sectors.

The final duel for pole position has Frijns versus Muller for pole position, with the teammates consistently among the fastest drivers in all wet sessions of the day. Nico Muller’s best starting position up to today was a P6, so it’ll definitely be a day to remember for the driver either way.

At first is Muller slightly in the lead, but by the second sector Frijns has a 0.200s gapover him, doubled by the next time check and tripled at the finish line.

Robin Frijns is on pole for the second time in his Formula E career by 0.623s over the Swiss driver. It’s also a third front row start in Berlin for the Dutch driver in his third race back to the championship after his wrist injury.