Sebastien Buemi will look to turn around his fourth season in ABB FIA Formula E Championship competition starting with today’s third round, the Marrakesh E-Prix, from pole position.
The Swiss driver hustled his Renault e.dams entry to a best time of 1:20.355 in the Super Pole session, ahead of DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird by 0.260 of a second and Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist by 0.841.
Buemi, Bird and Rosenqvist finished in that order in last year’s Marrakesh race. Bird and Rosenqvist split the Hong Kong races to kick off this season in December.
The surprise of qualifying was Jose Maria Lopez, back in the championship for the first time this year, making it into the Super Pole session in fourth for the Dragon team. Dragon struggled for pace at the opening weekend of the year but the rapid Argentine driver has atoned for that today. Last season’s champion Lucas di Grassi also had a good session, making it up to fifth for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.
Tom Blomqvist will start 12th for his Formula E debut in the first of the two MS&AD Andretti entries, and stands a good chance at scoring points. He’s one spot ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne, the Techeetah driver who’s usually been a staple in Super Pole but was only 13th in qualifying.
Mistakes or issues in qualifying leave Nick Heidfeld (Mahindra), Antonio Felix da Costa (MS&AD Andretti) and Edoardo Mortara (Venturi) at the back of the 20-car field, without having set a representative time.
Entering the weekend, Bird leads the championship with 35 points, Vergne is second with 33 and Rosenqvist (right) is third with 29. Both Buemi and di Grassi struggled in Hong Kong and enter with 1 and 0 points total.
Qualifying coverage airs on FS2, Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. ET on FS2. The race airs delayed at 2 p.m. ET on FS1.