Vergne on top in Shanghai qualifying with record-equalling pole

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Vergne on top in Shanghai qualifying with record-equalling pole

The DS PENSKE driver won the most recent race in China, and will hope to double up his victories with the inaugural Shanghai E-Prix later today.


DS PENSKE’s Jean-Eric Vergne will start the inaugural Shanghai E-Prix from the front of the grid, as he secured the Julius Baer Pole Position in China. The close qualifying battle saw drivers fight their way around the popular Shanghai International Circuit to sort the starting grid for this afternoon’s race. 

Going up against Oliver Rowland in his Nissan, this pole position now sees Vergne equal the Formula E record for the most pole positions -16 - which ties him with Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing). Vergne also won the last time the championship raced in China, making an ambitious pass on Oliver Rowland for the victory in Sanya back in 2019. 

CIRCUIT: What does the Shanghai E-Prix circuit look like?

Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans will start on the second row in third, alongside the TAG Heuer Porsche of Pascal Wehrlein. NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes had a great qualifying and will start fifth, with Antonio Felix da Costa (Porsche) in sixth, Norman Nato (Andretti) in seventh, Stoffel Vandoorne (DS PENSKE) in eighth, Robin Frijns (Envision Racing) in ninth and championship leader Nick Cassidy (Jaguar) rounding out the top 10.

As it happened… 


Vergne and Rowland finished first and second in the most recent Formula E race in China, the 2019 Sanya E-Prix. Despite Rowland winning his last three Duel Finals in Seoul in Season 8, as well as Diriyah and Tokyo this year, Vergne was able to bring an end to the statistic to emerge on top setting the fastest time seen over the weekend with a 1m13.322s.

Semi Finals 

We witnessed one of the closest finishes in a qualifying Duel when it was Nissan’s Oliver Rowland versus the Jaguar TCS Racing of Mitch Evans! The two battled it out on track, with Rowland emerging ahead by just 0.001s. The Nissan driver continued his streak of never losing a Semi Final over three appearances. 

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The other Semi saw two-time Formula E champ Jean-Eric Vergne and TAG Heuer Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein go head-to-head. Vergne beat Wehrlein in the Misano Semi Final earlier this season and was able to repeat history as he did so again to progress through to the Finals and fight for those three championship points on offer. 

Quarter Finals 

First up was Norman Nato of Andretti and Oliver Rowland. The Yorkshireman in the Nissan has not won a duel since Tokyo when he went on to take pole, but ended that unwanted record when he beat Nato who reached the Duels for a second consecutive race.  

The DS PENSKE of Stoffel Vandoorne took on Mitch Evans in the next round of the Duels. This duel was between the two drivers with the most duel appearances all-time, with this being Vandoorne’s 28th appearance and Evans’ 26th appearance! There could only be one winner, and it was Evans! 

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Vergne was up next, going up against the Porsche of Antonio Felix da Costa. Unfortunately for da Costa, his stat of not winning a Duel this season continued as he was knocked out by just six thousandths of a second by the double-champion at DS PENSKE. 

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Finally, it was the time of Jake Hughes in his NEOM McLaren and championship hopeful Pascal Wehrlein. Wehrlein has been in an impressive nine previous Quarter Finals this year – recording five wins and four losses – and was able to add to that win tally as he beat Hughes. The McLaren team are attempting to win in Formula E (Shanghai), Formula 1 (Monaco) and IndyCar (Indianapolis 500) over this weekend. Can they do it? We will have to wait and see!

Group A

There was a shock in the first qualifying group, when championship leader Nick Cassidy failed to make it through into the top four. Despite his best efforts, and remaining close to teammate Mitch Evans, just nine-thousands kept the Jaguar driver from progressing with the whole of Group A. 

Evans however did make it through, and joined Stoffel Vandoorne, Oliver Rowland and Norman Nato in the fastest four – with the latter topping the second Free Practice session earlier in the morning.

Both Maserati MSG Racing drivers were in this group and finished in seventh and 10th, with home hero for Chinese team ERT, Dan Ticktum, finishing down in ninth.

Group B

NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes was looking rapid as he topped his group, with Jean-Eric Vergne just 0.004s behind him! Both Porsches stole the third and fourth spot, as our most recent race winner Da Costa slipped into third with Wehrlein just behind. 

Despite the impressive pace shown by Jake Dennis in Berlin last time out, which earned him the pole position for Round 10, he couldn’t break into the top four today and had to settle for sixth in his group. 

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Sam Bird, Hughes’ teammate, was only able to settle for tenth in the first weekend back since his hand injury that he sustained during the Monaco E-Prix weekend last month.

SCHEDULE: Where, when and how to watch or stream the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix Rounds 11 & 12

Next up is lights out scheduled at 15:00 local.

WATCH: How to watch every race of Formula E Season 10

Following this, Sunday’s action starts with Free Practice 3 at 08:00, followed by Round 12 qualifying and the race at 10:20 and 15:00 local time respectively.

Follow the race LIVE and listen to full race commentary on web and in the Formula E app!

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