Sebastien Buemi will start Saturday’s FIA Formula E race in Paris from pole position after edging out home favorite Jean-Eric Vergne by just 0.006 seconds in the final stage of qualifying.
Buemi arrived in Paris with a 15-point lead at the top of the drivers’ championship following victory in Monaco last weekend, and sent out an early warning shot to his rivals by leading the opening qualifying heat.
Vergne finished second for Techeetah to advance to the Super Pole shootout, and was able to lay down an impressive marker that Buemi looked hard-pressed to beat.
The Swiss racer dug deep and produced a last-gasp lap of 1:02.319 to take pole for Renault e.dams by just 0.006 seconds, leaving Vergne a frustrated second.
Jose Maria Lopez took third on the grid for DS Virgin Racing, while Oliver Turvey qualified fourth, but will drop to 14th after a technical change ahead of the Paris race triggered a 10-place grid drop.
Esteban Gutierrez enjoyed his best Formula E qualifying performance to date, finishing fifth for Techeetah ahead of his third ePrix outing since moving out of Formula 1.
Mahindra drivers Nick Heidfeld and Felix Rosenqvist took sixth and seventh respectively ahead of Andretti’s Robin Frijns, while Mitch Evans and Nicolas Prost rounded out the top 10 on the grid.
Lucas di Grassi saw his title hopes take another hit as he could only qualify 14th, with Buemi now 18 points clear at the top of the championship after picking up a bonus score for pole.