Hong Kong ePrix: Piquet heads NextEV 1-2 after Super Pole cancelled

Nelson Piquet Jr. took a surprise pole position and the NextEV team annexed an unlikely front-row lock-out for the Hong Kong ePrix later on Sunday.

Hong Kong ePrix: Piquet heads NextEV 1-2 after Super Pole cancelled

Piquet Jr., the first ever Formula E champion took pole after dramatic group qualifying sessions set the grid for the first Hong Kong ePrix.

After a lengthy stoppage due to an accident suffered by Robin Frijns the Super Pole session was cancelled as Formula E cars need a specific amount of time to be charged before the race.

Piquet’s 1m03.099s was 0.132s faster than teammate Oliver Turvey’s best, while the DS Virgin pairing of Jose Maria Lopez and Sam Bird share the second row of the grid. Rookie, Lopez outpaced his teammate by just 0.007s.

Reigning champion Sebastien Buemi will start fifth after a late bid to usurp those ahead of him. However, the Swiss ace was unable to beat the NextEV and DS Virgin cars.

The story of qualifying

The first group to take part in qualifying immediately saw times slower than in the non-qualifying practice sessions this morning.

A dirtier track and kerb modifications ensured that the pace was at least a second slower. Drivers were surprised and concerned to discover the changes to the contentious chicane kerbing format as it appears they were previously not told the changes would be implemented.

Loic Duval led the way in his Faraday Future Dragon Racing entry, the Frenchman recovering his composure after crashing in practice to set a 1m03.637s lap. This was just over a tenth of a second faster than Nicolas Prost’s Renault eDAMS car.

Duval will start from 11th on the grid after receiving a three place penalty for a flag infringement earlier in the weekend. As a result Prost moves up to ninth.

Mahindra’s Nick Heidfeld was third in the session and thus lines up 10th on the overall grid. Adam Carroll will start his Jaguar Racing car from 14th, after being fourth in the opening group.

Group two saw drama in the early stage when Lucas di Grassi had his second accident of the day after hitting the wall and damaging the left front corner of his ABT Schaeffler.

The incident came on the Brazilian’s first quick lap and as a result he is set to start from a lowly 19th on the grid.

Fastest in group two was Next EV's Turvey who posted a 1m03.231s. Turvey led a British 1-2 as DS Virgin driver Sam Bird was just 0.027s behind his countryman.

Antonio Felix da Costa (Andretti) was third in his group while Ma Quing Hua was fourth after damaging the left rear after contact with the wall. This pair will start 13th and 17th respectively from the grid.

In Group three Robin Frijns also found the chicane wall after getting launched over the modified kerbing and brought out another red flag for a lengthy stoppage.

The Andretti driver will, as a result of not posting a representative time, start from the rear of the grid in 20th position.

Piquet headed the times in Group three ahead of impressive rookie Felix Rosenqvist who hurled his Mahindra M3Electro to second in group and sixth on the starting grid.

Jean-Eric Vergne looked set to challenge for pole but was unable to break in to the top group. The Frenchman qualified ninth but will move up to eighth after Duval’s penalty is applied.

The final group saw Buemi make his bid for pole but it was Lopez who stole the show with his time for third on the grid and first in his group.

Daniel Abt will start seventh on seventh on the grid while a disappointed Jerome d’Ambrosio struggled and will start 18th in his Faraday Future Dragon car.

Qualifying results:

 PosDriversTeamTime
1  Nelson Piquet Jr.   Nextev 1:03.099 
2  Oliver Turvey   NextEV 0.132
3  Jose Maria Lopez   Virgin  0.152
4  Sam Bird   DS Virgin  0.159
5  Sébastien Buemi   Renault e.dams 0.218
6  Felix Rosenqvist   Mahindra  0.233
7  Daniel Abt   Audi Abt 0.516
8  Loïc Duval   Dragon  0.538
9  Jean-Éric Vergne   Techeetah 0.651
10  Nicolas Prost   Renault e.dams 0.660
11  Nick Heidfeld   Mahindra 0.749
12  Maro Engel   Venturi 0.816
13  António Félix da Costa   Andretti  0.958
14  Adam Carroll   Jaguar  1.329
15  Stéphane Sarrazin   Venturi 1.421
16  Mitch Evans   Jaguar  1.489
17  Ma Qing Hua   Techeetah 1.641
18  Jérôme d'Ambrosio   Dragon  2.067
19  Lucas di Grassi   Audi Abt 4.995
20  Robin Frijns   Andretti 7.308
shares
comments
Hong Kong ePrix: Vergne tops interrupted final practice

Previous article

Hong Kong ePrix: Vergne tops interrupted final practice

Next article

Formula E drivers slam Hong Kong chicane kerb change

Formula E drivers slam Hong Kong chicane kerb change
Load comments
How Puebla gave Formula E's new points leader breathing space Prime

How Puebla gave Formula E's new points leader breathing space

With the usual Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez venue unavailable to Formula E, it visited the little Puebla circuit to keep its foot in the door in Mexico. A near-winner two years ago, Pascal Wehrlein looked in swaggering form throughout the weekend - but a breathless final encounter helped put Edoardo Mortara in the driving seat.

Formula E
Jun 21, 2021
The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21 Prime

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21

In an eventful Formula E season, punctuated by rain and energy-conservation controversy, the 12 teams contesting the championship have endured many challenges in the opening seven races. Here's how they've got on across the first half of the season.

Formula E
May 26, 2021
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Prime

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades.

Formula E
May 12, 2021
How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover Prime

How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover

Formula E faced much criticism in the wake of its maligned Valencia event. In need of a turnaround, the series' first use of Monaco's iconic Formula 1 layout provided it with the injection of thrills required to clear the fog that had enveloped the paddock.

Formula E
May 11, 2021
Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent Prime

Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent

FIA president Jean Todt wanted more Formula E coverage in the media, and got his wish when the opening Valencia E-Prix proved farcical. Despite attempts to spin the race as teams failing to get their sums right, Formula E and its governing body cannot escape blame - especially when trying to get teams to commit long-term.

Formula E
Apr 27, 2021
How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem Prime

How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair.

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Prime

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Prime

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits.

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021