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Qualifying report
Formula E Rome ePrix II

Rome E-Prix: Dennis takes pole against title rival Cassidy

Jake Dennis beat championship rival Nick Cassidy to pole for this weekend’s second Rome E-Prix after no further action was taken following an investigation by the Formula E stewards for impeding.

Pole man Jake Dennis, Andretti Autosport, with his Julius Baer pole position award

The Andretti Autosport driver had built up a margin of three tenths over the opening two sectors in the final duel and posted a 1m37.986s. 

Cassidy, who finished second in Saturday’s opening Rome E-Prix but took the championship lead from Dennis as a result, put in an impressive final sector to slash the margin but fell 0.071s short at the line. 

Dennis also receives three points for his pole position, which moves him to within two points of Cassidy in the standings, with the result initially provisional as the Briton was under investigation for an impeding incident in his qualifying group. 

The stewards deemed that McLaren’s Rene Rast was not blocked in the incident, though, meaning Dennis will start this afternoon’s race from pole. 

Mitch Evans, victor in Saturday’s Rome E-Prix which propelled him into title contention, was finally beaten this weekend as championship rival Cassidy got the better of his fellow Kiwi despite a sketchy moment through Turn 7 as both set scrappy semi-final laps. 

Just over a tenth separated Dennis and Nissan’s Norman Nato in the second semi-final duel as the Briton’s lap, a 1m38.087s, was just 0.031s slower than Cassidy’s time in the same element of qualifying. 

Two strong final sectors ensured Dennis of a semi-final spot after finishing nearly half a second ahead of Maximilian Guenther, the Maserati driver also under investigation after the session for not slowing down through a yellow flag zone in his qualifying group. 

The fastest time through all three sectors meant Cassidy comfortably beat NIO 333’s Dan Ticktum in the opening quarter-final duel by more than a second with a 1m37.536s. 

Nato progressed through his quarter-final duel against Sebastien Buemi after the Envision driver made light head-on contact with the barrier at Turn 7 having been fractionally quicker in the opening sector. 

In a repeat of the final duel on Saturday, Evans bested Jaguar team-mate Sam Bird but only after the Briton backed off in the final sector. 

The pair had been almost identical on times through the opening two sectors but Bird, who triggered the multi-car crash in Saturday’s race and was in a newly-rebuilt car, backed off before the line to aid Evans’ championship charge. 

Dennis set two laps good enough to finish fastest in the second qualifying group, his final effort leaving him on a 1m38.214s and 0.257s clear of Buemi, as Nato and Guenther completed the top four. 

McLaren’s Jake Hughes, who had to sit out Saturday’s race due to a heavy crash in qualifying, went into the run-off area at Turn 7 on his final run which meant he finished sixth, just ahead of team-mate Rene Rast. 

Both finished immediately in front of Pascal Wehrlein, the Porsche driver set to start further down the grid compared with his title rivals after a difficult weekend so far for the German. 

Bird put in a strong final lap in the opening qualifying group to head the times with a 1m38.434s, 0.113s clear of Cassidy who had topped the group after the opening runs. 

Ticktum finished third from Evans, with the top four covered by less than three tenths. 

Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa missed out in fifth, more than half a second behind Bird’s best lap, ahead of fellow Formula E champions Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Penske) and Lucas di Grassi (Mahindra). 

Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz, who had topped his qualifying group on Saturday and led for a period of the race, failed to make it out due to a battery change. 

Qualifying results:

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