Hong Kong E-Prix: Vandoorne scores maiden pole in wet qualifying

Stoffel Vandoorne sealed his and HWA's first ABB FIA Formula E pole position in a wet qualifying session for the Hong Kong E-Prix.

Hong Kong E-Prix: Vandoorne scores maiden pole in wet qualifying

The former McLaren Formula 1 driver was the last runner in superpole as both he and HWA teammate Gary Paffett made the top six cut-off.

Oliver Rowland had placed his Nissan e.dams car on provisional pole with a 1m11.903s lap and had looked set to hold onto the position when Vandoorne went slightly deep into the Turn 1 hairpin.

But Vandoorne recovered with a stunning final sector to seal pole by 0.323s.

That meant Rowland held onto second place ahead of Edoardo Mortara.

But Mortara will not keep his third place start after he was hit with a three-place grid drop for speeding under a red flag.

That red flag was caused by Jean-Eric Vergne in a torrid qualifying session for the reigning champion.

Vergne lost control of the rear of his DS Techeetah car at the end of his fast lap in group two and collided with the wall just after he set a time good enough for fourth.

He was subsequently penalised for causing the red flag and his best times were deleted, demoting him into 18th place.

Vergne's teammate Andre Lotterer will now start the race in third ahead of HWA's Gary Paffett.

Both Lucas di Grassi and Sam Bird impressed to qualify fifth and seventh despite having the first-on-the-road disadvantage from running in group one.

Sebastien Buemi was just over three tenths slower than his Nissan teammate, but could only qualify eighth behind Bird.

Venturi's Felipe Massa was ninth after running wide at Turn 1 but it proved enough to hold off practice pacesetter Robin Frijns in 10th.

NIO's Tom Dillmann and Dragon Racing duo Felipe Nasr and Jose Maria Lopez had the advantage of being in group four, but failed to make an impression on the leading times.

Dillmann qualified in 11th, with Lopez's 14th place proving to be two places higher than Felipe Nasr.

At the other end of the scale, the group one disadvantage caught out BMW Andretti's Antonio Felix da Costa and the Mahindra Racing pairing of Pascal Wehrlein and Jerome d'Ambrosio.

The trio qualified in the last three spots on the grid, with da Costa heading Wehrlein and championship leader d'Ambrosio.

Provisional grid:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 5 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  Germany HWA AG 1'11.580  
2 22 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland  France DAMS 1'11.903 0.323
3 36 Germany Andre Lotterer  China Techeetah 1'12.868 1.288
4 17 United Kingdom Gary Paffett  Germany HWA AG 1'13.033 1.453
5 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi  Germany Team Abt 1'14.177 2.597
6 48 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara  Monaco Venturi 1'12.310 0.730
7 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird  United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'12.529 0.949
8 23 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi  France DAMS 1'12.529 0.949
9 19 Brazil Felipe Massa  Monaco Venturi 1'12.570 0.990
10 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns  United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'12.600 1.020
11 8 France Tom Dillmann  China NIO Formula E Team 1'12.839 1.259
12 66 Germany Daniel Abt  Germany Team Abt 1'12.850 1.270
13 27 United Kingdom Alexander Sims  United States Andretti Autosport 1'12.861 1.281
14 7 Argentina Jose Maria Lopez  United States Dragon Racing 1'13.073 1.493
15 3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr.  United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'13.421 1.841
16 6 Brazil Felipe Nasr  United States Dragon Racing 1'13.885 2.305
17 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans  United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'13.920 2.340
18 25 France Jean-Eric Vergne  China Techeetah 1'13.927 2.347
19 16 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey  China NIO Formula E Team 1'14.133 2.553
20 28 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa  United States Andretti Autosport 1'14.384 2.804
21 94 Germany Pascal Wehrlein  India Mahindra Racing 1'14.830 3.250
22 64 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio  India Mahindra Racing 1'15.347 3.767
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Series Formula E
Event Hong Kong E-prix
Author Tom Errington
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