Jean-Eric Vergne bested his teammate Antonio Felix da Costa in the Final Duel in qualifying for the first Jakarta E-Prix, with a 1m08.523s enough for Julius Baer Pole Position by eight tenths of-a-second.
The DS TECHEETAH duo made it an all black and gold finale in the session - the first time two teammates had squared off against one-another in the Final Duel - and Vergne's collected lap was more than enough for his 15th Julius Baer Pole Position in Formula E - a new record.
Da Costa's lap was lost after he dropped a couple of tenths through Turn 3, despite managing to drag the car to the apex of Turn 4. His DS looked more of a handful, or at least Vergne made it look easier around that last shootout. The Frenchman - third in the standings - is sitting pretty in the hunt to topple current leader Stoffel Vandoorne, who starts down in seventh spot. Those valuable three points for securing pole will no doubt widen JEV's smile ahead of Round 9 at 15:00 local time.
Both Evans and Vergne wrestled hard to get the power down on a track that was gradually coming to drivers after a tricky morning’s running-in. Vergne looked mighty and unflustered behind the wheel, pulling out a three-tenths margin on Evans to advance to the final. Evans didn’t progress but the title challenger will settle for third just behind the DS TECHEETAHs.
Mortara had never failed to make the final having progressed to the Duels but he slid wildly through Turn 1 and handed a little time to his opponent da Costa – nicely rescued by the Venturi driver. Even so, da Costa’s narrow advantage grew as the lap went on and by the line the Portuguese had plenty in hand to make it through to the all-DS final. Mortara’s streak comes to an end, and the French-Swiss-Italian will start fourth in Round 9 - he couldn't quite secure a pole-triple.
A place in the Semis was up for grabs as Mercedes-EQ's Vandoorne faced Evans first off. The Kiwi flew 0.333s quicker than the championship leader who’ll start at the back of the duellists in eighth spot.
Wehrlein versus Vergne came next. The Frenchman was neat and tidy as you like through the final sector to pull out from being level with the Porsche driver through the first two-thirds of the lap. He wound up 0.1 seconds to the good and through to the Semis while Wehrlein starts 11th thanks to a five-place grid penalty for breaking a seal on the components of his car.
Mortara faced Dennis in the third quarter-final, and he blew by Dennis – though the Brit himself was quick – by 0.2 seconds. The Avalanche Andretti driver will start fifth.
The fourth and final quarter-final saw Buemi square up against da Costa. The DS TECHEETAH driver drew a slender margin through Sector 1 and approaching halfway around the lap. Buemi ran wide at the hairpin which proved costly – da Costa able to make it by the Nissan driver by a huge 0.852-second margin. Buemi will line up a net sixth.
Vandoorne, along with one of his closest rivals in the current standings table Vergne, progressed from Group A with late flying laps. Dennis and Buemi also had enough in the tank to make it through to the Duels – Buemi for the first time as neither Nissan had made it further than 10th spot in qualifying this season.
Meanwhile, Andre Lotterer’s streak of making all the Duels so far came to an end as the Porsche driver couldn’t go quicker than fifth. He does start eighth, though, with Wehrlein's penalty.
In Group B, da Costa blazed to an early 1m08.715s and went just 0.001s faster than Mortara who was next quickest – both title protaganists making the Duels. Wehrline came home third to progress and Evans made it through at the last in fourth – just ahead of reigning champion Nyck de Vries who didn’t quite make the cut.
Published on 4th June 2022
5 min read