Photo: Formula E - Sam Bloxham

Berlin e-Prix Qualifying: Buemi beats Bird to record-breaking pole position

The Envision Racing pair of Sébastien Buemi and Nick Cassidy was the first to set a flying lap, with the teammates momentarily sitting first and second before DS Penske’s Stoffel Vandoorne split the pair to go second fastest.

Vandoorne then went fastest overall, 0.108 seconds ahead of second place Buemi, with Oliver Rowland slowest in his Nissan after the opening laps of the session. After a tricky Free Practice Two session for the British driver, he was 1.600 seconds slower than the leader.

At the end of the opening run, Vandoorne, Buemi, Cassidy and Jagaur TCS’s Mitch Evans were the four drivers in the position to move into the duels.

Ten of the eleven drivers in the session left the pits with just over three minutes remaining, André Lotterer’s Avalanche Andretti the only driver to not leave the pit lane with the others and was in sixth place at the time.

Everyone was on a push lap when the chequered flag fell with lap times all expected to change providing everyone kept it clean and out of the barriers.

The big shock of the session was the current Championship leader Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche) only eighth fastest, with NIO’s Sérgio Sette Câmara beating Evans to fourth place on his final flying lap.

This result marked the worst qualifying session of the season for TAG Heuer Porsche, something they were hoping to avoid in front of a home crowd.

Evans, Edoardo Mortara (Maserati MSG), Lotterer, Wehrlein, Nico Müller (ABT Cupra), António Félix da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche) and Rowland all were eliminated.


Group B saw Sam Bird (Jaguar TCS) go to the top of the leaderboard at the end of the first runs. Maximilian Günther (Maserati MSG) and Dan Ticktum (NIO 333) were second and third as the drivers took to the track again for their final attempts at claiming a place in the final eight.

There was little improvement as the drivers took to the track again, going close to their previous fastest but not enough to shake up the leaderboard.

Jean-Éric Vergne went faster but was unable to progress, going fifth on the leaderboard.

Sam Bird was fastest in the session ahead of Günther, Ticktum and Jake Dennis (Avalance Andretti). These four drivers would progress to the final eight and into the duels.

This meant that Vergne, Jake Hughes, Rene Rast, Norman Nato, Feneerstraz, Di Grassi and Frijns all would be eliminated.


In the duels, the Envision Racing drivers of Buemi and Cassidy were paired against each other meaning that the team were guaranteed at least a top four start.

The battle was close, 0.078s seconds seperating the pair. It was Buemi who got the better of Cassidy and would progress to the semi-finals.


Sette Câmara vs Vandoorne was the second quarter-final match-up and it was the current World Champion that would progress to the final four, 0.365 seconds between the drivers.


Ticktum would face Günther in the third quarter-final, with the home crowd firmly behind the Masterati MSG driver. The gap at the end of hte first sector was 0.001 seconds, but Günther made a mistake and would throw away a chance of making it into the semi-finals, with Ticktum ready to take part in an all-British semi-final as he awaited the winner of Dennis vs Bird.


In the battle of the Brits, it was advantage Dennis at the end of the first sector, but Bird was closing in by the time they reached the end of the second sector.

He was able to beat Dennis by 0.061 seconds and progress into the semi-finals, with Dennis’ lap enough to let him line-up fifth on the grid for the first race in Berlin.

Cassidy would line-up sixth, Sette Câmara seventh and Günther starting from eighth on the grid.

The semi-finals would see Buemi face Vandoorne and Ticktum take on Bird with a spot on the front-row of the grid and a shot at pole the reward.

In the first semi-final between Buemi and Vandoorne, there was 0.060 between the two drivers at the end of the second sector. Buemi was able to keep his lead at the end of the lap to guarantee at a front-row start.


In the all-British semi-final, Sam Bird beat Dan Ticktim by 0.135 seconds after a late rally from Ticktum to close the gap, setting faster times in the second and third sectors. As Vandoorne’s time was faster than Ticktum’s, the World Champion will start the race from third.


Bird and Buemi would face off in the final, with the streak of a different driver on pole for every race only continuing if Bird won this battle. However, the streak would come to an end as Buemi went quickest in the final sector to overhaul the narrow lead that Bird had to claim pole position.

This result meant that Buemi would move alone to the top of the-all time standings for pole positions, with Lucas Di Grassi in second with 15 poles.

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