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Formula E Mexico qualifying: D’Ambrosio Takes Poll; Buemi Rues Error


Jerome D’Ambrosio claims his second Formula E poll ahead of the Mexico ePrix. The super pole session saw D’Ambrosio produce an impressive 1:03.705 lap, as expected victor Sebastian Buemi locked up and dropped to 5th place (1:05.183), behind Nico Prost (1:04.013), Lucas Di Grassi (1:04.023), and Daniel Abt (1:04.335).

Despite Buemi’s speed in practice, the third qualifying session in a row with a mistake, proved costly. Pole appeared a foregone conclusion as Buemi posted a strong time in the first sector, but locked up after the first time split, allowing D’Ambrosio to capitalise on an aggressive lap. Daniel Abt was unable to set a lap as fast as his group time, and despite being faster than D’Ambrosio overall, Di Grassi saw a cautious final sector leave him three tenths down, leaving Prost to head him by 0.01 seconds, for second place.

In the early group stages, DS Virgin’s Jean-Eric Vergne took the lead, edging out Loic Duval by two tenths, with both completing clean laps, despite the track lacking grip. Heidfeld and Sarrazin posted laps in the mid 1:04 bracket, but it was clear from the practice sessions, that the Renault e.dams and Abt Schaeffler would break the 1:03 barrier.

Buemi and Di Grassi came to blows as the second group entered, with Di Grassi locking up at the second chicane, and blaming Buemi. Despite this, both drivers, along with D’Ambrosio, posted times that would see them into the super pole. Bruno Senna was left at the bottom of the timesheet, after a lock up at T1 left him in the wall, breaking his suspension, leaving him unable to complete his 200kW lap.

Nico Prost’s misfortune in Buenos Aires followed him to Mexico City, as the access hatch on the nose of his Renault e.dams opened during his out-lap. Despite this distraction, he cruised into the super pole in second place, ahead of Di Grassi by a tenth. Daniel Abt broke into the top five with a 1:04.1, de Silvestro qualified P11, and NEXTEV’s Turvey failed to set a competitive time (1:06.1). Despite a lack of running due to technical problems, Da Costa finished in seventh place, however was later given a 10 place grid penalty due to a gearbox change.

The final group saw reigning champion Nelson Piquet red flag the session, a T1 lock up sending him through the TECPRO barrier. Piquet was uninjured, but starts the race from the back of the grid. Sam Bird cut a disappointed figure after losing time in final sector despite a clean run, and finishing in P11. None of the remaining drivers could best the Briton, Robin Frijns and Mike Conway finishing in P13 and 14 respectively, and home favourite Duran in P15.

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