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Mitch Evans leads Sebastien Buemi at the London E-Prix

London E-Prix: Round 16 Qualifying Results

Jaguar and Envision enter into the London E-prix locked in a fierce battle for the Teams' Championship

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The Teams’ Championship is up for grabs at the London E-Prix as the Jaguar-powered teams go head to head in qualifying.

New World Champion Jake Dennis in the car
Britain’s Jake Dennis can enjoy Sunday’s race after securing the Championship on Saturday. (Image credit: Simon Galloway via Formula E Media Bank)

Formula E re-takes to the London E-Prix Circuit, following what was one of the most dramatic races the sport has ever seen. A new World Champion was crowned amidst a race defined by red flags and racing incidents. While Jake Dennis walked away victorious, Nick Cassidy’s championship dreams came to a halt in heartbreaking fashion. Contact with teammate Sebastien Buemi dealt damage to Cassidy’s Envision, forcing him to retire early from the race.

The Drivers’ Championship has been decided, but the Teams’ Championship remains up for grabs. Jaguar and customer team Envision stand on equal footing, both with 268 points to their name. Porsche remains in contention, despite scoring no points in Saturday’s race.

The qualifying groups

Group A

The two Envisions set the early pace, Buemi over two tenths up on Cassidy. Sam Bird bested Buemi’s time, putting in a lap of 1:11.056. A relaxed World Champion took to the track, Dennis going third fastest overall. That time was soon beaten by René Rast, who in turn lost ranking to NIO 333 driver Dan Ticktum.

With six minutes left on the clock, the drivers returned to the pits to recoup. Robin Frijns, however, stayed out on track, trying to improve upon his time. It wasn’t enough to move him up into the top four, the Dutchman only going sixth fastest. At this point reports of spots of rain began to trickle in.

Final push laps were attempted, as the drivers set out to secure themselves a spot in the duels. The Envisions continued to look quick, Buemi going fastest overall. A purple sectors one and two for Cassidy granted him the top spot, going just under two tenths quicker than Buemi.

Jaguar’s Sam Bird was in third, the team needing a spot in the duels in order to take the battle to Envision. Fourth quickest was Ticktum, his teammate Sergio Sette Câmara in fifth, the NIO 333’s showing decent pace. Bird attempted to improve on his time, but remained third fastest. Dennis, on his final flying lap, managed to put it together to go second fastest overall.

Through to the quarter-finals: Cassidy, Dennis, Buemi, Bird

Group B

Maserati’s Edoardo Mortara was the first driver to record a lap, setting a time of 1:11.783. It was an early benchmark that was quickly surpassed, Mitch Evans going fastest overall with a lap of 1:11.058. There were further spots of rain, making it important for the drivers to bank a lap in case the weather worsened.

Norman Nato beat Evans’ time by a tenth, going quickest overall. Third fastest was Mortara, after improving on his initial lap. In fourth was Pascal Wehrlein, a strong qualifying position crucial for Porsche in their championship pursuit. After a brief stop in the garage, the drivers went back out on track to prepare for their final push laps.

Last year’s World Champion, Stoffel Vandoorne, attempted to improve up his previous lap time. The lap promoted the DS Penske driver to the top four, going second quickest. Evans returned to the top of the timesheets, but an impressive lap from Nico Müller saw the ABT Cupra driver match Evans’ time down the very millisecond.

Both Porsches were in the drop zone, a frantic scramble for a position in the duels soon ensuing. Neither Porsche driver was able to secure a spot in the duels — worrying news for the team’s championship chances. Nico Müller remained second quickest in a terrific result for the ABT team.

Through to the quarter-finals: Evans, Müller, Nato, Vandoorne

The Duels
Quarter final one: Buemi vs Dennis

As the London E-Prix duels got underway, the rain began to come down. Buemi took an uneven line through the first few corners, but remained over a tenth up on Dennis. Buemi continued to extend that advantage, but Dennis quickly began to catch. Dennis clawed back time in the final sector, the two neck and neck. The Andretti driver pipped Buemi to the semi-finals by just 0.018s.

Dennis goes through to the semi-finals.

Quarter final two: Bird vs Cassidy

The battle of the sister teams began with Cassidy taking an advantage over Sam Bird. The Jaguar driver was over a tenth behind Cassidy, but began to catch. A kiss with the wall for Bird cost him some time, dropping three-tenths back from Nick Cassidy. Sam Bird couldn’t claw back enough time to beat Cassidy, the Envision driver heading through to the next round.

Cassidy goes through to the semi-finals.

Quarter final three: Nato vs Müller

The brief spell of rain seemed to have done little to substantially affect track conditions. Norman Nato looked confident in the Nissan as he tackled the London E-Prix track, putting two tenths on Nico Müller. The ABT driver couldn’t catch Nato, crossing the line 0.265s down on the Nissan driver.

Nato goes through to the semi-finals.

Quarter final four: Vandoorne vs Evans

Evans eked out an early advantage on Vandoorne, just 0.01s separating the pair. The Jaguar driver jumped further ahead, extending the advantage to a more substantial tenth and a half. Evans held onto that advantage and then some, going 0.239s faster than Vandoorne.

Evans goes through to the semi-finals.

The Semi-Finals
Semi-final one: Dennis vs Cassidy

The World Champion went head to head with Nick Cassidy, the two evenly matched around the circuit. Cassidy’s advantage was minute, but the third sector saw him extend that lead. The Envision driver went forwards and knocked Jake Dennis out of the  qualifying fight.

Cassidy heads to the final.

Semi-final two: Nato vs Evans

Evans was quicker than Nato right off the bat. A brush with the wall cost Nato time, handing Evans a healthy advantage. Evans continued to extend his lead, going from strength to strength to put four tenths over the Nissan driver.

Evans heads to the final.

The Final: Cassidy vs Evans

The two New Zealanders entered into the final duel neck and neck. Evans began to extend an advantage over Cassidy, but the Envision driver was quick to begin catching. Cassidy got ahead, but Evans just as soon clawed an advantage back. It all came down to the final corner, Cassidy taking the advantage just in the nick of time.

The Envision driver put it on pole by just 0.01s. Evans will start the London E-Prix from second on the grid, seeking to replicate Saturday’s winning result. With Cassidy taking pole position, Envision takes three extra points, each of which will prove crucial in the championship fight.

Full starting grid

Featured Image Credit: Simon Galloway via Formula E Media Bank 

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