MONACO – Defending Formula E drivers’ champion Sebastien Buemi swept to pole position for Saturday’s Monaco ePrix after edging out perennial rival Lucas di Grassi in qualifying.
Buemi made a perfect start to the year by winning the first three races, only to finish a lowly 14th last time out in Mexico City, allowing di Grassi to cut the gap in the drivers’ standings.
The Swiss driver finished third in the opening heats as Jean-Eric Vergne topped the timesheets, but Buemi dug deep and turn in a best lap of 53.313s in the Super Pole shootout to take pole position.
The result marked Buemi’s first pole since last year’s London ePrix, and is the first time that he has shared a front row with di Grassi since their infamous clash at Battersea Park.
Nelson Piquet Jr. put in an impressive display for NextEV NIO, taking third on the grid, while Vergne and Venturi’s Maro Engel ended the session fourth and fifth respectively.
Street circuit specialist Felix Rosenqvist narrowly missed out on a place in the Super Pole shootout, finishing sixth for Mahindra, with teammate Nick Heidfeld two places further back in P8. DS Virgin Racing drivers Jose Maria Lopez and Sam Bird were seventh and 10th respectively as Daniel Abt slotted into P9.
Recent Formula 1 driver Esteban Gutierrez’s second qualifying session saw him finish within a second of teammate Vergne, yet this was only good enough for P14 due to the close-knit nature of the field. Adam Carroll, Nicolas Prost and Jerome d’Ambrosio all encountered issues, leaving them to fill out the bottom three positions on the grid.
The Monaco ePrix takes place at 4pm local time in Monaco (10am ET) today.