ROKiT Venturi Racing's Edoardo Mortara was peerless in qualifying for the Shell Recharge Berlin E-Prix Round 8, as he grasped a second consecutive Julius Baer Pole Position in two days at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport Circuit.
Round 7 winner Mortara had over a tenth on Envision Racing's Robin Frijns early through the decisive lap on the reverse layout at Tempelhof, despite the latter being neater through Turn 5 than he was in the Semis. The gap continued to grow to almost half-a-second, and the Venturi driver rounded the final turn with surgical precision to hold that advantage over the line and take a second consecutive Julius Baer Pole Position on the spin.
He'd previously gone the longest run of any Formula E driver without one prior to yesterday’s effort - some five years.
Frijns flew to open the Semis. He was 0.350s up into the final sector but a big misjudgement at Turn 5 saw him slide and open to door to Lotterer. The Porsche man was briefly neck-and-neck but Frijns managed to see it through to make the final – just the tonic after his non-score in Round 7. Lotterer - the only driver to be in every Duel this season - lines up fourth.
Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) and Mortara were next up. The former was right on the edge into Turn 1, but he had no answer for Mortara – with Berlin increasingly looking like the Venturi driver’s back yard. Mortara crushed de Vries with a 1m05.897s – such a quick time and the quickest of the day. De Vries will start third.
Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) made a mess of Turn 1, locking up and running wide – costing the Belgian three-tenths of-a-second in just a single corner. Lotterer was able to capitalise on that with a faultless lap to progress while Vandoorne has a little work to do from seventh, especially with Mortara out-front.
Next up, Antonio Felix da Costa versus Frijns. The DS TECHEETAH man pushed hard to an early advantage in what looked a properly hooked up car. Frijns fought back to narrow the gap to less than a tenth of-a-second before going ahead through Sector 3 and squeaked through by just 0.014s – an incredibly fine margin and four-tenths quicker than Lotterer’s effort before him. The Portuguese dinfs himself fifth.
Reigning champion de Vries – a semi-finalist on three occasions this season – looked to make that four, and left not a centimetre of the circuit to spare as he strode to a 0.270s margin over Venturi's Lucas di Grassi to do just that, with the Brazilian starting sixth as a result.
Mortara went quickest in the quarters in his battle against Envision Racing's Nick Cassidy. The Swiss doubled down in his search for a second consecutive Julius Baer Pole Position, beating the Kiwi and making the cut for the Semis, leaving Cassidy ninth. A penalty post-session for a powertrain change however - a mighty 80-place drop - sees the Kiwi start Round 8 from the back.
Of the Group A runners di Grassi led the way early on and did enough to make the Duels, having topped Free Practice 2 – despite brushing the wall as the Brazilian rung everything out of his Silver Arrow 02.
Vandoorne headed the group by some 0.2s from Frijns who made amends for missing out on the knockouts for Round 7. Envision doubled up with a Cassidy producing the goods to make the cut, too.
Mortara looked mighty again in Group B. Yesterday’s polesitter went top with his initial effort and stayed there. DS TECHEETAH’s da Costa made it at the last, at the expense of teammate and second-in-the-standings Jean-Eric Vergne. De Vries set the second quickest time, though some three-tenths shy of Mortara. Lotterer was the fourth to advance to the Duels.
Published on 15th May 2022
5 min read