Buemi on pole ahead of title rivals

Sebastien Buemi claimed Julius Baer pole position ahead of today’s Visa London ePrix four tenths clear of Jerome D'Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) and Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT).

Buemi, who set his time during the fourth qualifying segment, brushed the barrier at the final corner on his fastest lap as the drivers scrambled to get a good grid position. Qualifying at the front of the pack may be even more crucial than ever now the race will start behind the Qualcomm Safety Car after track changes were made at Turn 1.

D’Ambrosio, who also ran in the final qualifying group, set the second quickest time and demoted long-time pacesetter, Lucas di Grassi to third place on the grid with the Brazilian driver reporting that he was struggling with too much front locking.

Championship leader Nelson Piquet Jr ended the session fourth quickest and the NEXTEV TCR driver was clearly pushing hard as he locked up and ran close to the barrier several times on his quick laps.

Jean-Eric Vergne will start from fifth place for Andretti, but the French driver was forced to take to the escape road on his first flying lap as he locked the rear wheels and spun at Turn 7.

Nicolas Prost will start in seventh place for e.dams-Renault, ahead of Formula E debutant Oliver Turvey and Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna.

Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird will start in ninth, with Salvador Duran rounding out the top 10 for Amlin Aguri. Bird had needed to take pole position to keep his slim championship chances alive, but after failing to do so he has now been mathematically eliminated from the title fight.

Karun Chandhok will start in 16th in the second Mahindra entry as the Indian driver crashed at the final corner and broke his right-front wheel.

Speaking afterwards Buemi said: “That was a good session, for both me and Nico, on a difficult, bumpy track. It’s going to be a challenge this afternoon and qualifying was definitely crucial. Battery management will also be key here so we’ll have to see how things go.”

“I had a clean lap but made a slight mistake," said di Grassi. We know we have a big gap to catch up and our goal is always to win but of course to do our best.”

Jean-Eric Vergne added: “That was disappointing as we overshot the corner when we were on for pole and we have a quick car here. I pushed too hard on my second lap. It’s going to be a tough race for sure.”