Edoardo Mortara fired to a maiden Julius Baer Pole Position in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship ahead of the Shell Recharge Berlin E-Prix Round 7 at the Tempelhof Airport Circuit, as the ROKiT Venturi Racing driver hung it all on the line to beat Alexander Sims to the mark.
Mortara's effort looked to be compromised by a Turn 1 error, the Swiss-French-Italian running wide and opening the opportunity for Sims to capitalise but a mighty final sector, some four tenths of-a-second quicker than his rival's sealed the deal in style - Mortara securing three points and pole.
In perhaps the highlight of the session, Sims set off first in his battle against Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) and dived deep into Turn 1, but not as deep as the DS driver who slipped wide through the long left hand hairpin – with Vergne falling 0.150s back.
RESULTS: The full classification from qualifying ahead of race one in Berlin
As the lap went on, though, that gap gradually crept down as JEV fought back, and back. He was under half-a-second by the time Sims crossed the line. Vergne continued to reel the Brit in, and as the Frenchman flew across the start/finish he’d exactly matched Sims’ effort – the pair setting an identical lap time down to the thousandth-of-a-second.
As Sims set his time first, he progressed and Vergne would have to settle for fourth.
Sims and Wehrlein were first to face off and the Mahindra man swept the Porsche driver and home hero away by some two tenths of a second in his first Duels appearance – much to the delight of the team’s garage and Team Principal Dilbagh Gill. Wehrlein will start sixth with good room to progress on a circuit conducive to passing opportunities.
Next, it was first versus second in the standings as Vandoorne faced Vergne. The DS TECHEETAH man stole the initiative early in the lap and took a further two tenths out of the Mercedes-EQ driver in the final sector to round 0.4s up on the Drivers’ World Championship leader who lines up eighth.
Mortara and Porsche's Andre Lotterer fought next for a place in the Semis. The former kept his cool and pipped the German by 0.008s – absolutely nothing in it. The latter sealed an eventual fifth.
Season 6 champion and Berlin expert Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) had plenty in hand through a neat lap to beat Sette Camara – who’d done exceptionally to make the knockout stages and went quicker than standings leader Vandoorne managed to in the session. Da Costa took third and Sette Camara seventh.
Wehrlein had fired top at the end of Group A running with a 1m06.532s from Vandoorne and early pacesetter Mortara.
Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans was shuffled out by Sette Camara’s late effort, with the DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT driver going fourth quickest.
Da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) fired in a second flier – a 1m06.739s – at the last to top Group B while early pacesetter Lotterer held fast to make it through in second spot.
The second DS TECHEETAH of Vergne wound up third, and profited fellow title challenger from Robin Frijns’ struggles as the Envision Racing driver rounded almost a second off the pace. The Dutchman starts a lowly 20th and has it all to do. Sebastien Buemi was the last man to make it in fourth for Nissan e.dams though a penalty for not respecting minimum pit time saw his time cancelled and Sims promoted and through, though the Frenchman does still start 10th.
Reigning champion Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) also didn’t make the cut and starts 12th.