Formula E | Qualifying Report: Andretti ahead of Envision in Rome

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We’re live with the second qualifying session of the weekend. Will Mitch Evans get his second pole in Rome after maximising points in yesterday’s round, or will championship leader Nick Cassidy, left, in his own words, very “angry” at himself after feeling like he had not maximised his speed in the previous qualy, avenge his Saturday performance?

Group A today features the Jaguar, DS Penske and NIO drivers, as well as Cassidy, Da Costa, Fenestraz, Di Grassi and Frijns. All the drivers immediately come out on track, bar for Sacha Fenestraz.

The Nissan driver was forced to miss out on FP3 earlier this morning due to a battery issue, and it looks like the problem has not been solved yet. His team later confirmed that the French Argentinian driver won’t take part in qualifying.

The first timed lap is put in by Lucas Di Grassi in 1:40.796s, but after everyone has completed his first attempt is once again Jaguar powertrains on top, with Cassidy ahead of Evans, Bird and Vergne. Vandoorne then kicks the British driver out of the provisional Duels just before the pit stop round.

Bird is still suffering from the battery regeneration issue which affected his FP3 earlier this morning after his team stayed up late to get his car back in shape for the new round.

With two minutes to go everyone is back on track on fresh rubber for the final laps, which hugely upset the final cut. Frijns missed out on his final shot as he ran straight at Turn 6.

In spite of his issues during today’s sessions, Bird is the leader of Group A with a 1:38.434s, followed by Cassidy, Ticktum and Evans, with Di Grassi and Da Costa making short timed appearances as well.

Group B sees all the drivers able to go out on track, with Dennis, on the hunt to return championship leader, in provisional P1 with a 1:38.376s followed by Buemi, Rast and his Avalanche Andretti teammate Lotterer after their first flyers

Yesterday’s third place finisher Maximilian Günther is ahead of only Merhi after an unimpressive first timed lap.

Just before pitting for fresh rubber, Jake Hughes and Pascal Wehrlein slot into the provisional Duels in P3 and P4.

While on his latest attempt, Hughes locked his tyres running straight out at Turn 4 and is bumped out of the Duels.

Dennis improved his previous effort to 1:38.214s to secure his P1, and makes the cut alongside Buemi, Nato, who has the fastest first sector, and Günther. However, these might not the be actual final results, as Dennis and Rast are under investigation for impeding a driver, while Günther and Muller are investigated for failing to slow down under yellow flags. All the instances will be investigated after the end of Qualifying.

Photo Credits: Avalanche Andretti

The first duel of the day sees championship leader Nick Cassidy versus NIO’s Dan Ticktum. The British driver starts ahead of Cassidy by 0.030s, but by Turn 6 the Envision driver had a considerable 0.154s gap to him, increased to half a second by Sector 2 and over a second by the end of the lap.

Next on is the re-enactment of yesterday’s final, with the Jaguar teammates battling out for a chance to move to the Semi Finals. Evans starts 0.026s ahead of his British teammate, but Bird upsets it by the end of Sector 1 with a 0.141s. However, yesterday’s pole sitter ultimately managed to win the Duel with a 0.500s advantage on his teammate.

The third battle of the day faces Nato and Buemi. The Nissan driver had an early advantage of 0.047s, quickly recovered by Buemi who developed a 0.142s gap before hitting the wall at Turn 6 mentioning a front tyre issue. Nato is then comfortably cruising to the Semi Finals.

The final Italian quarter final of the day sees Günther vs Dennis. The German driver starts ahead of Dennis by 0.093s, with the British catching him in the second part of the lap, winning with a considerable 0.476s margin on the Maserati podium finisher.

It’s the championship leader versus our latest race winner on next for a chance to fight for Pole Position. Cassidy starts with a 0.323s gap over Evans, but the Jaguar driver won’t go down with a fight, catching up to 0.173s. Ultimately the Envision driver is through with a 0.266s advantage on the other Kiwi driver in spite of a small mistake.

Nato will take on Dennis for the other Final spot, with the Nissan driver starting slightly ahead. Dennis developed a 0.172s gap in the first sector, with the French driver cutting it to less than an hundred, but in the end the Andretti driver is the one to advance.

The final Italian Duel of 2023 sees Dennis face Cassidy for Pole Position. The British driver begins with a 0.073s advantage, up to 0.149s at the end of Sector 1 and 0.232s by the second. Cassidy catches throughout all the second part of the track, but Dennis is ultimately the winner of the battle by 0.071s.

With the additional three points he has secured with Pole Position, Dennis now has 169 points to Cassidy’s 171, setting up for a very heated afternoon race.