Qualifying for the second Formula E race in Rome was dominated by many weather changes and different track conditions.
There are four groups on the grid in qualifying and the constantly changing track conditions were very noticeable.
Even in the very wet conditions, the two Jaguar drivers were fast. Sam Bird set the fastest time. He was the only driver to stay under the two-minute limit. He was followed by Mitch Evans, Nyck de Vries, Robin Frijns, Rene Rast, and previous day’s winner Jean-Eric Vergne. The Techeetah driver was more than five seconds off the fastest time.
The drivers of group two were slightly faster. Pascal Wehrlein secured P1 first and beat Bird’s time by one second. Edoardo Mortara was more than seven tenths behind. Sebastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland also finished in the top six, while Sergio Sette Camara had to park his car.
Conditions appeared to be getting better and better. The track became drier and more drivable. Mahindra driver Alexander Sims set a new fastest lap. He was almost 0.3 seconds faster than Wehrlein. Vandoorne was third. Lucas di Grassi, who was fighting for victory for a long time on Saturday, was in tenth place after the third group.
The last group surprised everyone and many drivers placed in the top 6.
Norman Nato finished the group stage of qualifying in the first place. He was faster than Andre Lotterer, who took the top position in the meantime. Behind him were Nick Cassidy and Maximilian Guenther. Jake Dennis did not leave the garage.
The top 6 of group qualifying:
|1||Norman Nato||ROKiT Venturi Racing||1:56.006|
|2||Nick Cassidy||Envision Virgin Racing||+0.854|
|3||Maximilian Guenther||BMW i Andretti||+2.268|
|4||Alexander Sims||Mahindra Racing||+2.494|
The Super Pole was then about the final pole position and the best six drivers of the qualifying were at the start:
Vandoorne opened the Super Pole with a weak lap. This was nevertheless 5 seconds faster because the track continued to dry. Wehrlein again did an outstanding job and took a whole 1.7 seconds off Vandoorne. Sims also sorted himself into third place, even almost three seconds behind Wehrlein.
BMW driver Guenther also lost two seconds to first place on his decisive lap and finished third behind Vandoorne, but still ahead of Sims. Nick Cassidy, on the other hand, gave full power thanks to best times in all three sectors, he distanced Wehrlein by more than six-tenths of a second and took over the lead – insane lap by the Virgin rookie. Norman Nato did not quite come close and qualified for second on the grid ahead of Wehrlein. Pole position for Virgin.
The standings after the Super Pole:
|1||Nick Cassidy||Envision Virgin Racing||1:52.011|
|2||Norman Nato||ROKiT Venturi Racing||+0.332|
|5||Maximilian Guenther||BMW i Andretti||+2.690|
|6||Alexander Sims||Mahindra Racing||+3.587|