|PHOTO CREDIT: ABB FIA Formula E World Championship|
The 23-year-old Frenchman calmly made he's way through the qualifying stages beating everyone along the way. A question arose when Max Guenther set a much faster lap then his rival, but in the flat-out duel between the two for pole position, it was not to be for the Maserati driver who missed out by just 0.422 seconds.
ENJOY THE QUALIFYING RECAP BELOW:
An almighty lap from Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz sees him top the group session by just 0.013s ahead of Nick Cassidy, Pascal Wehrlein and then Jean-Eric Vergne, who will progress to the duels, whilst Dan Ticktum, Norman Nato, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Jake Hughes, Andre Lotterer, Sergio Sette Camara and Nico Mueller will go no further. The latter is currently under investigation for a qualifying procedure infringement. Whilst NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes crashed after loosing the rear under braking and taking a wack on the right rear wheel. He was able to continue, but couldn’t set a fast enough lap to progress.
Rene Rast rises to the top of group B in his NEOM McLaren having set a 1:08.844.The German topped the group by 0.181s ahead of Mitch Evans, Sebastien Buemi, and Max Guenther, who will progress to the duels.
Sam Bird, Jake Dennis, Stoffel Vandoorne, Edoardo Mortara, Lucas Di Grassi, Oliver Rowland and Kelvin van der Linde on the other hand will go no further.
In the closing stages of the session, Mortara lost the rear of his Maserati, and hit the concrete barriers at turn 9. A few seconds later, a Nissan past the stricken Maserti and soon after team-mate Max Guenther, who just about avoided his team-mate.
Bird was quite unlucky. He slammed into the barrier at turn 9, the scene of Mortara’s crash, and with the speed and momentum – the Jaguar rolled into the Maserati.
James Barclay, the Jaguar TCS Racing team principal spoke after the session, and said: “no yellow flags or double waved yellows were shown” when Mortara crashed.
Lucas Di Grassi, Oliver Rowland, Kelvin van der Linde, and Nico Mueller will go no further, after all Mahindra powered cars were withdrawn for safety issues surrounding the rear suspension.
Mahindra published a statement on their media channels, saying: "Mahindra Racing Formula E team have confirmed their withdrawal from the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship qualifying sessions and race in Cape Town due to rear suspension safety concerns. (A thorough investigation on the suspension elements of the Mahindra M9Electro race cars will take place on the team’s return to the UK."
The smooth and ever consistent Nick Cassidy pipped championship leader Pascal Wehrlein in their qualifying duel by 0.152 seconds. In the second duel, Fenestraz just about beat Jean-Eric Vergne by 0.053s, whilst Buemi’s streak of bad luck continued, as he broke his front wing on entry to turn 9. The collision meant Mitch Evans just had to cross the line to progress to the semi-finals. Maserati MSG Racing were brought some form of comfort when Max Guenther won the final duel against NEMO McLaren’s Rene Rast by 0.222 seconds.
Buemi admits that everything is still possible despite locking up and removing the endplate from he’s Envision Racing car.
In the straight fight between Fenestraz and Nick Cassidy, the Nissan drive came out on top by 0.108s to progress to the finals.
The second and final semi-final, saw Max Guenther and Mitch Evans do battle. Evans had an advantage in the opening gambit, but it was Guenther who went fastest by 0.356 seconds booking Maserati MSG Racing a spot on the front row.
THE ALL IMPORTANT FINAL
Who would come out on top in Cape Town? Well... it was Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz who claimed he’s ever pole position in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship beating rival Max Guenther by 0.422 seconds. The Frenchman’s lap is the fastest in the championships history, in terms of average speed - 1:07.848.
"Very happy! I'm also very happy for the team. Starting the season working very hard. Hopefully, this is not the last. So, let's keep it up! We are starting on pole. Let's keep it like this," the pole sitter said..