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Santiago E-Prix: Di Grassi on pole but under investigation

Santiago E-Prix: Di Grassi on pole but under investigation
Jan 26, 2019, 4:19 PM

Audi’s Lucas di Grassi claimed pole position for ABB FIA Formula E’s second race in Santiago ahead of Sebastien Buemi, but faces an investigation over a technical infringement.

Di Grassi topped Super Pole having run in the second group of the opening phase of qualifying – he is under investigation for an issue in that segment – that left many of the current championship leaders down the grid.

After no drivers from group one set a time good enough for Super Pole, di Grassi logged a 1m08.290s with a mighty lap around the 1.45-mile track set in Santiago’s Park O’Higgins.

He ended up topping Super Pole by 0.526s ahead of Nissan e.dams driver Buemi, which meant di Grassi will take the fourth pole of his FE career pending the outcome of the investigation.

Buemi, who crashed heavily in practice, will start from the top three for the third time in the three races of the 2018/19 season so far.

Pascal Wehrlein topped the group running from the fourth and final pack, but could not repeat his performance in Super Pole and ended up third in just his second FE qualifying.

Daniel Abt finished fourth, 0.668s slower than his Audi teammate.

HWA’s Stoffel Vandoorne made the first Super Pole appearance of his FE career and set the fifth-fastest time.

But the ex-McLaren F1 driver also faces a stewards' investigation after failing to respect the Super Pole procedure by appearing to not make it out of the pitlane in time and passing a red light at the end of the pitlane as a result.

Sam Bird rounded out the top six for Virgin Racing, losing around three tenths with errors at the final two corners.

Edoardo Mortara will start seventh as the highest driver not to make it through to Super Pole, just ahead of Dragon Racing’s Maximilian Gunther, who secured the highest grid spot of his FE career so far with eighth.

Alexander Sims starts ninth for BMW Andretti, with ex-F1 driver Felipe Massa completing the top 10 for Venturi.

Practice pacesetter Jose Maria Lopez ended up 11th, ahead of Jaguar’s Mitch Evans and reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne.

Vergne topped the first group to hit the track – the top five in the championship – before all the drivers from group two went faster and he was eventually shuffled down to P13.

Oliver Rowland split the DS Techeetah drivers, with group one runners Andre Lotterer and Robin Frijns taking 15th and 16th.

Gary Paffett faded from top 10 contention on his 250kW lap in group four with a slow final sector and finished in P17.

Riyadh race winner Antonio Felix da Costa ended up down in 18th place as he also failed to escape from group one.

Group three drivers Oliver Turvey and Nelson Piquet Jr will start 19h and 20th for NIO and Jaguar respectively, with current championship leader Jerome d’Ambrosio ending up 21st in the second Mahindra Racing car.

Tom Dillmann brought up the rear of the field for NIO.

Provisional Santiago E-Prix grid

Cla # Driver Team Time km/h
1 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Germany Team Abt 1'08.290 123.778
2 23 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi France DAMS 1'08.816 122.831
3 94 Germany Pascal Wehrlein India Mahindra Racing 1'08.925 122.637
4 66 Germany Daniel Abt Germany Team Abt 1'08.958 122.578
5 5 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne HWA Racelab 1'09.235 122.088
6 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'09.253 122.056
7 48 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara Monaco Venturi 1'09.042 122.429
8 6 Germany Maximilian Gunther United States Dragon Racing 1'09.143 122.250
9 27 United Kingdom Alexander Sims United States Andretti Autosport 1'09.147 122.243
10 19 Brazil Felipe Massa Monaco Venturi 1'09.168 122.206
11 7 Argentina Jose Maria Lopez United States Dragon Racing 1'09.201 122.148
12 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'09.235 122.088
13 25 France Jean-Eric Vergne China Techeetah 1'09.307 121.961
14 22 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland France DAMS 1'09.365 121.859
15 36 Germany Andre Lotterer China Techeetah 1'09.485 121.649
16 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'09.505 121.614
17 17 United Kingdom Gary Paffett HWA Racelab 1'09.505 121.614
18 28 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa United States Andretti Autosport 1'09.551 121.533
19 16 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey China NIO Formula E Team 1'09.645 121.369
20 3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'09.705 121.265
21 64 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio India Mahindra Racing 1'10.083 120.611
22 8 France Tom Dillmann China NIO Formula E Team 1'10.258 120.310
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