09 Oct 16

Piquet takes pole in Hong Kong

Nelson Piquet Jr grabbed his first-ever Julius Baer pole position in an extended and eventful qualifying session for the HKT Hong Kong ePrix.

A series of accidents – including a heavy crash for Robin Frijns – meant the session over-ran by almost 30 minutes, and with the cars needing to be charged for the race, the Super Pole shoot-out was cancelled.

This allowed NextEV Nio to secure a front row lock-out, with Oliver Turvey setting his career best qualifying result with second.

A sausage kerb was removed from the chicane ahead of the session and this caught out a number of the drivers. The most significant was Lucas di Grassi, who swiped the left-front wheel off his car with contact with the wall. He will start in 19th as a result.

Frijns had an almost identical shunt, but ploughed deeper into the tec-pro barriers, which caused a lengthy delay. He will start 20th in this afternoon’s race.

In the final of the four qualifying groups, Jose Maria Lopez did a great job on his DS Virgin Racing debut to qualify third, just ahead of team-mate Sam Bird. Defending champion Sebastien Buemi was a surprisingly distant fifth, while his Renault e.dams team-mate Nico Prost rounds out the top 10.

Rookie Felix Rosenqvist drove aggressively to qualifying sixth ahead of Daniel Abt, Loic Duval and Jean-Eric Vergne. The TECHEETAH driver had set the pace in final practice, but only narrowly avoided the Frijns accident and will start ninth.

Adam Carroll was the fastest of the Panasonic Jaguar Racing cars in 14th. Mitch Evans was 16th fastest.

HKT Hong Kong ePrix qualifying time

1. Nelson Piquet Jr NextEV Nio 1:03.099

2. Oliver Turvry NextEV Nio 1:03.231

3. Jose Maria Lopez DS Virgin Racing 1:03.251

4. Sam Bird DS Virgin Racing 1:03.258

5. Sebastien Buemi Renault e.dams 1:03.317

6. Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Racing 1:03.332

7. Daniel Abt Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport 1:03.615

8. Loic Duval Faraday Future Dragon Racing 1:03.637

9. Jean-Eric Vergne TECHEETAH 1:03.750

10. Nico Prost Renault e.dams 1:03.759

11. Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Racing 1:03.848

12. Maro Engel Venturi 1:03.915

13. Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti 1:04.057s

14. Adam Carroll Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:04.428

15. Stephane Sarrazin Venturi 1:04.520

16. Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:04.588

17. Qing Hua Ma TECHEETAH 1:04.740

18. Jerome D'Ambrosio Faraday Future Dragon Racing 1:05.166

19. Lucas di Grassi Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport 1:08.094s

20. Robin Frijns Andretti 1:10.407