The relaxed air and the “what will be, will be” attitudes around the paddock had well and truly disappeared by the time qualifying for Round 15 got underway at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit in Berlin, with Season 7 coming to a head and the pressure piling on in the fight for World Championship honours.
Conditions varied throughout Group Qualifying, making it anybody’s game. Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans soared to Super Pole from Group 1, then produced another strong lap despite “rising tensions” as the championship picture became a little clearer.
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“It’s surprising to be honest because traditionally Group 1 is a hinderance. We weren’t the quickest in FP2 but I was happy with my lap. The tension was rising and my Super Pole lap wasn’t as good as Group 1. To be third is ideal with the championship situation. You’ve got to go all out I think but the team will be there to guide me through it.”
.@svandoorne claims the final @juliusbaer Pole Position of the season!— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) August 15, 2021
He will be starting alongside @oliverrowland1 on the front-row ⚡️
We're set for an exciting race...
🇩🇪 2021 @BMWi#BerlinEPrix | @Niobium_Nbpic.twitter.com/KYREVc7n90
How the title protagonists line up
Jake Dennis (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) was left best of the rest of those right at the sharp end in the battle for the Drivers’ crown but found himself outside of the Super Pole cut-off.
The Brit starts a workable ninth, ahead of current standings leader Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ), who’ll line up 13th and Edo Mortara starts 11th with reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) the next real protagonist down in 15th and Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler), who missed out on Super Pole by only 0.120 seconds, remarkably, starts 17th.
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Vandoorne’s lap was clean and clinical, with the Belgian happy to recover from some procedural mistakes in qualifying yesterday. He feels they got the maximum out of the Silver Arrow 02 here.
Rowland joins the Belgian on the front row, just ahead of Evans, while Mahindra Racing’s Alex Sims produced a storming lap, steering his M7Electro to fourth with an ultra-precise lap.
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NIO 333’s Tom Blomqvist pulled the rabbit out of the hat in Group Qualifying to go fifth fastest. He doubled down on that impressive Group Qualifying lap with a tidy run to fifth in Super Pole.
Norman Nato (ROKiT Venturi Racing) had done exceptionally in Group Qualifying and had made the top six shootout, but a technical issue put paid to his chances of pole. He’ll start sixth.