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Qualifying: Sims beats Vandoorne to Race 1 pole

  • Published on 22 Nov 2019 09:58
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  • By: Fergal Walsh

Alexander Sims has triumphed in the opening qualifying session of the year, beating Stoffel Vandoorne by almost three-tenths of a second in Super Pole in Saudi Arabia. 

The Briton set a lap time of 1:14.563, running as the second driver in the final stage of qualifying. However, the four drivers that set times after him couldn't better his time, allowing the BMW driver to take his second career pole.

Mercedes was the only team to get both of its cars into Super Pole, with Vandoorne securing a front row start for the German squad.

His teammate Nyck de Vries was third, and looked to be challenging Sims for pole before he lost half a second in the final sector.

Despite being part of the second qualifying group, Sam Bird's lap time was enough to see him through to Super Pole - although on his last lap, he made a mistake early on, which put him out of contention.

The Envision Virgin racer placed himself into fifth place ahead of Jerome D'Ambrosio, who was the slowest of the Super Pole drivers. 

Porsche's debut qualifying session in Formula E saw it just miss out on Super Pole, as Andre Lotterer, who has made the switch from Techeetah for the season, just missed the cut in his group.

Lotterer will line-up in seventh place for the start of the ePrix, ahead of Oliver Rowland, Maximilian Gunther and Oliver Turvey.

Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne was part of the first qualifying group, and therefore suffered with a slippery track. 

The Frenchman's fastest time was enough to secure him 11th on the starting grid in front of season five championship rival Robin Frijns and Mahindra's Pascal Wehrlein.

In group three, Nico Mueller and James Calado both hit the wall at the same point just moments apart - putting both of them out of the session.

Brendon Hartley's session was a difficult one due to the lack of running that he had during the opening two practice sessions. The Kiwi could only manage the 18th fastest time. 

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