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Second pole for Andretti-BMW's Sims

Survives late onslaught in Saudi Arabia
Saturday, November 23, 2019

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Sims again on pole. The BMW is fast, but runs out of power faster than others
Sims again on pole. The BMW is fast for 1 lap, but runs out of power faster than others

BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Alexander Sims scoops his second Pole in Saudi - third in a row counting his Pole last season in New York City - while Nissan e.dams' Sebastian Buemi starts in second in front of Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Lucas di Grassi. Rounding off the Super Pole standings is Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans, Mahindra Racing's Jerome d'Ambrosio and DS Techeetah's Antonio Felix da Costa, who starts the race in sixth.  

As track conditions improved, so did the times, with yesterday's winner Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird narrowly missing out on Super Pole despite dealing with the handicap of starting in Group 1. The Brit will start the second race in Diriyah in seventh, ahead of Rokit Venturi Racing's Edoardo Mortara and BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther. 

Hot on the heels of Guenther will be TAG Heuer Porsche's Andre Lotterer, who finished second in yesterday's season opener. The German driver starts one place in front of his former DS Techeetah teammate and reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne in 10th.  Following his retirement yesterday, Vergne had the advantage of starting in the last Qualifying Group, claiming that even a 10th place start would feel like a Pole position for the Frenchman after a dismal start to the season. 

Behind Vergne is Mercedes-Benz EQ's Stoffel Vandoorne, fresh off the back of a third place finish in yesterday's race. The Beligan driver starts ahead of Envision's Robin Frijns, Mahindra Racing's Pascal Wehrein and Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Daniel Abt. 

In the middle of the grid will be Rokit Venturi Racing's Felipe Massa, who starts ahead of Nissan e.dams' Oliver Rowland and fellow Brit Oliver Turvey (NIO 333). Turvey is followed by Neel Jani for Porsche, while rookie Brendon Hartley rounds off the top 20 for Geox Dragon. 

At the back of the grid, Quinghua Ma will start the race in 21st with Panasonic Jaguar Racing's James Calado and Nico Mueller in 23rd. Mercedes' rookie Nyck de Vries sits at the back of the grid after a disappointing Qualifying session for the Formula E newcomer. 

Vergne dropped to back of the grid

Following DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne's collision with the wall in Practice this morning, the reigning champ's chances of a podium in Saudi Arabia fell of a cliff after he was handed a 20-place grid penalty ahead of the race.

Earlier in the day, the Frenchman limped back to the pits with a broken axle, where his battery was switch for a replacement pack. The change is in breach of the FIA regulations, handing him a 20-place grid drop as well as a stop and go time penalty (considering he can't drop 20 places after Qualifying in 10th), just hours before the final race of the season opener in Diriyah. After a miserable first race, which led to an early retirement for Vergne, the champs hopes of securing a hattrick championship title are off to a dismal start.

Vergne will start from the back of the pack after Qualifying in 10th, when the race starts at 3:00pm local time.

Super Pole Results

POSDRIVERNATTEAMTIME/BEHIND
1Alexander SimsGBRBMW i Andretti Motorsport1m11.476s
2Sebastien BuemiSUINissan e.dams+0.220s
3Lucas di GrassiBRAAudi Sport ABT Schaeffler+0.308s
4Mitch EvansNZLPanasonic Jaguar Racing+0.453s
5Jerome d'AmbrosioBELMahindra Racing+0.617s
6Antonio Felix da CostaPORDS Techeetah+2.658s


Qualifying 2 Results

POSDRIVERNATTEAMLAPS/GAP
1Antonio Felix da CostaPORDS Techeetah1m11.418s
2Sebastien BuemiSUINissan e.dams+0.356s
3Jerome d'AmbrosioBELMahindra Racing+0.417s
4Alexander SimsGBRBMW i Andretti Motorsport+0.440s
5Lucas di GrassiBRAAudi Sport ABT Schaeffler+0.521s
6Mitch EvansNZLPanasonic Jaguar Racing+0.554s
7Sam BirdGBREnvision Virgin Racing+0.589s
8Edoardo MortaraSUIROKiT Venturi Racing+0.590s
9Maximilian GuntherGERBMW i Andretti Motorsport+0.633s
10Andre LottererGERTAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team+0.735s
11Jean-Eric VergneFRADS Techeetah+0.909s
12Stoffel VandoorneBELMercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team+1.004s
13Robin FrijnsNEDEnvision Virgin Racing+1.036s
14Pascal WehrleinGERMahindra Racing+1.217s
15Daniel AbtGERAudi Sport ABT Schaeffler+1.224s
16Felipe MassaBRAROKiT Venturi Racing+1.238s
17Oliver RowlandGBRNissan e.dams+1.242s
18Oliver TurveyGBRNIO 333 FE Team+1.253s
19Neel JaniSUITAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team+1.314s
20Brendon HartleyNZLGEOX Dragon+1.764s
21Ma QinghuaCHNNIO 333 FE Team+1.787s
22James CaladoGBRPanasonic Jaguar Racing+2.012s
23Nico MullerSUIGEOX Dragon+2.285s
24Nyck de VriesNEDMercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team+2.664s

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