After a (reasonably) trouble-free morning here in Santiago, an action-packed Qualifying and Super Pole session saw Techeetah's Jean-Eric Vergne take the Julius Baer pole position for the second time this season with a time of 1:19.161 - setting a new lap record here in Santiago. "Its pretty good for the team and I'm very happy. Now it's racing time!" said the Frenchman.
Directly behind Vergne will be former champion and Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi, who'll be chasing down the Techeetah car in the hope of clinching a much-needed victory. Currently sixth in the championship standings, Buemi is a full 32 points behind leader Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra Racing).
Despite a solid effort and a clean lap from Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Lucas di Grassi, the ten-place grid penalty he received yesterday sees him drop down to start the race in thirteenth place. "There's nothing I can do about it, I did my job," said di Grassi.
With both Techeetah drivers through to the Super Pole shootout, it was a less successful session for Andre Lotterer who, during his hot lap in Super Pole, clipped the barrier on Turn 1, before smashing into the sidewall. With his front wing trailing under the wheels, he finished his lap to finish above Bird and will start the race in third.
Despite his efforts in Qualifying, it was bad news for DS Virgin Racing's Sam Bird who brought out the red flag after he lost the rear end of the car going into Turn 5, spinning 180 degrees before hitting the barrier. With considerable damage to the car's rear wing, it was back to the garage for Bird, who'll start the race in fourth.
With di Grassi's penalty, it's good news for former champ and Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Nelson Piquet Jn. who moves up to start the race fifth place. "I had a tidy lap and it seemed to work out," said the Brazilian.
For Bird's teammate, Alex Lynn, a sixth-place start is solid foundation for the DS Virgin Racing driver to build upon. With no podiums to his name since his debut drive in New York City last season, could Santiago be the British driver's time to shine?
See below for the full starting grid ahead of the 2018 Antofagasta Minerals E-Prix. Click here to find out how to tune in where you are.
1 - Jean-Eric Vergne, Techeetah
2 - Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams
3 - Andre Lotterer, Techeetah
4 - Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing
5 - Nelson Piquet Jn. Panasonic Jaguar Racing
6 - Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing
7 - Oliver Turvey, NIO Formula E Team
8 - Nico Prost, Renault e.dams
9 - Jose Maria Lopez, Dragon
10 - Daniel Abt, Audi Sport Abt Shaeffler
11 - Maro Engel, Venturi Formula E Team
12 - Jerome D'Ambrosio, Dragon
13 - Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport Abt Shaeffler
14 - Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing
15 - Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing
16 - Antonio Felix da Costa, MS&AD Andretti Formula E
17 - Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Formula E
18 - Tom Blomqvist, MS&AD Andretti Formula E
19 - Luca Filippi, NIO Formula E Team
20 - Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing
*results detailed above are provisional
Published on 3rd February 2018