Jake Dennis has taken pole position in Rome!
The Andretti driver will start from first in the second race of this weekend’s double header.
It’s his second pole of the season, with the three points achieved taking him back to within touching distance of the Championship lead.
Despite a scary crash and pile-up in yesterday’s race, all 22 drivers made it out for practice this morning and subsequently, qualifying too.
The DS Penske’s were the first to set their laps in Group A, with Jean-Eric Vergne going to the top of the timesheets, almost two tenths faster than his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne. After everybody’s first runs, Nick Cassidy was first, ahead of Vergne, Mitch Evans, and Vandoorne.
With Rome being such a long track, the 11 drivers were itching to get out quickly as to not run out of time. At the end of the first part of qualifying, those to reach the duels from Group A were: Sam Bird, Nick Cassidy, Dan Ticktum, and Evans.
In Group B, it was Dennis who set the early benchmark, the Andretti driver looking for a better Sunday after finishing fourth in yesterday’s race. Before everyone went out again to improve, he sat ahead of Sébastien Buemi, Jake Hughes, and Pascal Wehrlein.
It was an intense finish to Group B as Dennis stayed top, but it was all changing behind him. Buemi stayed second but going through was Norman Nato and Maximilian Günther. Jake Hughes will be disappointed after out-braking himself at turn seven.
Into the duels, and the first quarter final consisted of Ticktum in the Nio, and Cassidy in the Envision. It was an impressive drive to reach the Duels from Ticktum, but the first round of the Duels is as far as he would get as Cassidy was faster by over a second.
The next Duel was an all Jaguar battle between Evans and Bird; a repeat of the Final and front-row of yesterday’s grid. Evans would be the fastest out of the two today as well, as he reached the Semi-finals.
The third QF saw Nato take on Buemi, and it wouldn’t last long at all as the latter hit the wall on his lap.
The last of the quarters was Günther vs Dennis, the Briton winning out by over half a second.
In Semi-final one, Evans took on Cassidy as the Jaguar driver searched for another pole position. But that wouldn’t be the case, as Cassidy flew over the line to take the first spot in the Final.
That second Final spot would either be Nato or Dennis as they went head-to-head in Semi-final two. The result would lead to a nail-biting Final, as the top two in the Championship would line up on the front row together.
Dennis vs Cassidy, Cassidy vs Dennis. With only five points between them in the standings, it was an intense battle as both drivers set their laps. Dennis started poorly with oversteer in the opening corners, but was still just under a tenth up after sector one. Dennis then had a super second sector and was nearly three tenths up as their laps reached their conclusions. Cassidy improved in the final sector but missed out by a stunning seven hundredths of a second.