Formula E | São Paulo E-Prix | Qualifying: Vandoorne victorious over Da Costa and Evans

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The Belgian driver secured P1 in an intense qualifying, ahead of TAG Heuer Porsche and Jaguar TCS Racing drivers.

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / LAT Images

The qualifying for Round 6 of the FIA ABB Formula E World Championship is approaching and oh boy we are excited. So far during the free practice sessions we’ve seen 6 different drivers in Top 3, which means the qualifying will be as unpredictable as ever. The beautiful surroundings of the Sambadrome promise us electrifying atmosphere and probably even more electrifying results!

So far this weekend we didn’t see any of the drivers with big troubles, other than Vandoorne in FP1 kissing the tire barrier. His car was quickly repaired and he continued with the session. Will the drivers be capable of staying out of trouble today? There are a few places on the track that might poise a challenge….let’s see who’ll come victorious today: the track, or the drivers?

Group A of the qualifying session consisted of Wehrlein, Vergne, Cassidy, Past, Hughes, Lotterer, Vandoorne, Sette Camara, Rowland, Mortara and Müller. Cassidy was the first driver to set the lap time, but was fastly overtaken in the top spot by Wehrlein, with the time of 1.13:280s. Soon after it was DS Penske 1-2, signalling good pace from Vandoorne, who seems to be struggling a bit in his new team. Six minutes before the end of the session most of the drivers returned to pits, and we’ve got a yellow flag caused by Sette Camara. The session was red flagged. It seemed his power train halted to a stop with an electrical issue. Soon enough his car was removed out of the way and we’ve got a green flag. It seems like the issue with the NIO 333 wasn’t so serious, because Sette Camara got up and running with the green flag, although he’s been investigated for infringement of red flag procedure. With two minutes left to go, the drivers got to push now. Wehrlein seems to have had clipped the wall, but was capable of continuing to the finish line. Lotterer came into the pits, was there an accident for the German driver? Checkered flag for the first group and the four drivers that advanced to the duels were: Vandoorne, Cassidy, Mortara and Hughes. Hughes with another strong performance in the qualifying, can he carry it on into the duels? Will we see another close call for Cassidy?

Group B consisted of Dennis, Da Costa, Buemi, Bird, Di Grassi, Evans, Nato, Ticktum, Fenestraz, Gunther, Frijns. Green light and the drivers make their way onto the track. Frijns goes out on track and almost immediately has an issue with the car. The driver reported no power, which caused a yellow flag. Fortunately for the Dutch he was capable of power-circling the car and got it going. Günther was the first driver to set a time with a lap of 1:24.237s. Fastly enough he was replaced by the likes of Dennis, Bird and Buemi in Top 3. Both Nissans claim 1-2 and Evans follows. Bird and Di Grassi pit with seven minutes on the clock – will they be able to set a competitive lap time?

Five minutes on the clock and most of the drivers went back to the pits. At that point, the four drivers that would make it into the duels were Da Costa, Dennis, Buemi and Nato. With three minutes to go, everyone went out for the last push. Ticktum was on a good push but he’s thrown it away with a mistake. Checkered flag, last laps and the four drivers that make it into the duels were: Bird, Günther, Da Costa and Evans. Dennis doesn’t manage to get himself into the duels, and both of the drivers that are leading the championship will have to start their race from row 7 and 8!

Duels – Quarterfinals

Mortara vs Cassidy

Winner: Mortara

Hughes vs Vandoorne

Winner: Vandoorne

Da Costa vs Günther

Winner: Da Costa

Bird vs Evans

Winner: Evans

Duels – Semifinals

Mortara vs Vandoorne

Winner: Vandoorne

Da Costa vs Evans

Winner: Da Costa

Duels – Finals

Vandoorne vs Da Costa

Winner: Vandoorne

It is Vandoorne ahead of Da Costa and Evans, and in true Formula E fashion another record has been broken – nine pole sitters in nine races! The race will be truly remarkable, and we can feel it already. The race at Sambadrome in São Paulo will commence at 18:03 CET, and you can find the race summary at shortly after the race. For now – enjoy the race, wherever you are ✨