Da Costa bookends Gen2 era with pole in Seoul, advantage Vandoorne over evans

Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) fired to an unstoppable Julius Baer Pole Position for the Hana Bank Seoul E-Prix Round 16, leaving Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing) no scraps to feed on through a perfect lap.

No driver had made more appearances on the front row this season than Mortara and the Venturi driver had been utterly surgical through the Duels on the way to the final.

RESULTS: Qualifying for the Hana Bank Seoul E-Prix Round 16

There was just one hundredth between them in the knockouts prior and da Costa piled the pressure on over the lap to secure pole by two tenths come the final couple of corners - having been inseperable at the halfway stage of the lap. Millimetre perfect, with no mistakes from the DS driver for the eighth pole of his Formula E career. Interestingly, he becomes the first and last Gen2 polesitter.

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Venturi still looks well placed for their Teams' scrap with Mercedes-EQ's best bet, Drivers' table topper Stoffel Vandoorne behind in fourth.

Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) has it all to do having failed to hook up his Groups lap to progress to the Duels. He'll start in mid-pack and has to win to stand a chance of taking the Drivers' title with Vandoorne finishing eighth or lower.

Semis

Mortara squared off against the standings leader. The Venturi driver rode paper-thin margins all the way around the lap, playing chicken with the walls and fired to a 1m20.913s – the quickest time of the weekend. Vandoorne lines up fourth.

There was nothing between da Costa and Dennis through much of their showdown, though – never more than a tenth of a second until the final turns, in the Portuguese’ favour. No mistakes from either driver but the DS man was surgical – pipping his man to make the final. Dennis will be third on the grid.

Quarters

Ticktum had it all to do against Mortara in the first Quarter. There was nothing between them through the first half of the lap and into the stadium. Into the final half Mortara stretched his Silver Arrow 02’s legs and pulled out half a second come the line. He’s through to the Semis but Ticktum will be more than happy with seventh.

Vergne and Vandoorne faced one-another next. It was easy for the standings leader, or at least made to look that way. The Belgian hammered home a 1.5-second advantage at the line to progress with Vergne a second shy of Ticktum and set to start eighth.

Frijns versus da Costa followed. Frijns was a tenth up and looking tidy through Sector 1 and into the Olympic Stadium, though da Costa forced the issue and gained a tenth on the Dutchman before the trip out back through Sector 3. That gap grew to 0.274s with Frijns’ Envision Racing car looking more skittish – he’d settle for fifth on the grid.

Dennis topped Group B but was up against another form man in di Grassi. Dennis found time through the first third of the lap and the stadium – and did look sharp. Di Grassi hung it all out but couldn’t match the Avalanche Andretti driver’s pace. Dennis makes it into the Semis while di Grassi was two tenths shy and will start sixth.

Groups

Vandoorne headed into Group A knowing if he sealed Julius Baer Pole Position, he’d only have to wind up eighth in Round 16. His final flier was quicker than his first benchmark and saw him through second. Mortara went quickest overall after topping FP3, while Frijns and di Grassi rounded out the qualifiers and head to the Duels.

Evans needed to make it to the Duels to be in with a realistic shout of the title but on his final hot lap he was the slowest of any driver on-track through Sector 1, clouted the wall in the stadium and rounded second but was shuffled out of the fold by the DS TECHEETAHs. That could well be that for the Kiwi.

Dennis went quickest and made it through, with da Costa, Vergne and Ticktum – on his, and NIOs first Duels appearance – making it into the knockouts from Group B.

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