Qualifying is a part of the Formula E day, in which drivers attempt to set the fastest lap they can achieve in order to determine their grid position in the following ePrix. The fastest driver starts from pole position and also receives three championship points for their efforts.
The first Formula E qualifying session was held at the 2014 Beijing ePrix on the 13th of September 2014. Pole position went to Nicolas Prost of e. dams-Renault, whose time of 1:42.200s was enough to beat the rest of the field. He, team mate Sébastien Buemi and Jean-Eric Vergne were the only three drivers to set pole position times in the first five ePrix, before Daniel Abt became the first non-French speaking driver to take pole, doing so at the 2015 Long Beach ePrix. Buemi, meanwhile, was the first driver to win an ePrix from pole position, achieving the feat at the 2015 Monaco ePrix, an achievement as yet unequalled. He would repeat the feat in London at the season finale, with Vergne the other driver to take a third pole position in the season.
The original format of five cars in one of four groups (with each group given a ten minute window to set two quick times) was retained for season two, albeit with a few tweaks. Each group would now only have a six minute window to set their fastest time (enough for just one flying lap), with the fastest five overall going through to the "Super Pole" session. The fifteen minute "Super Pole" session sees the top five cars go out one at a time to set a lap good enough for pole.
The qualifying session is held after the two practice sessions at around midday on each Formula E day. The session lasts for 55 minutes, but each car is permitted only 6 minutes of track time to set their fastest lap. The cars are split into four groups of five drivers, with each group given ten minutes to set a time. The grid is determined from the fastest times of each driver, before the top five overall are placed into a "Super Pole" session at the end of the group phase. The rest of the fifteen drivers start in the order that they originally qualified, unless penalties are applied.
The "Super Pole Shoot-out", as it is officially known, sees the top five from the groups enter a new fifteen minute session to determine the order of the top five. The slowest of the quintet leaves the pits first, and has a whole lap to set their car up for one flying lap before the second slowest car enters the circuit, and so on. In essence, each of the top five will have a clear circuit to drive on, with the fastest driver receiving three points for pole as well.
In a qualifying session, a driver is limited to a single car, which cannot be charged during the session. The car may run at the full power of 200 kw (270 bhp) for one lap in their 6 minute run, with the fastest overall driver given three points. Penalties such as driving infringements that affect the order of the grid (such as demotions) are applied after qualifying. The same rules and power limits apply for the "Super Pole" session, with all cars running at the race power limit of 170 kw (228 bhp) when not on a flying lap.
So far, six different drivers have started from pole, with only one managing to follow that up with victory in an ePrix. No driver has set both pole position and fastest lap during the same weekend, however, and several drivers have failed to score any points in the ePrix itself despite being the fastest man over one lap.
The list below shows all of the drivers whom have taken pole position in Formula E history.
|ePrix Pole Sitters*|
|Jean-Eric Vergne||3||Took first pole on debut, despite never having driven the SRT_01E before.|
|Sébastien Buemi||3||First driver to win an ePrix from pole position|
|Nicolas Prost||2||First man to take pole position.|
* Correct as of the 2015 London ePrix II.
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 'Rules & Regulations: Qualifying', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/guide/rules-and-regs.aspx, (Accessed 19/07/2015)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 'Nicolas Prost claims pole position for the Beijing ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/09/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/september/nicolas-prost-claims-pole-position-for-the-formula-e-beijing-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- ↑ 'Buemi’s stroll in the park', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 27/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/buemi-wins-as-edams-renault-clinch-team-title.aspx, (Accessed 30/06/2015)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 'Formula E launches Super Pole shoot-out', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 18/09/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/september/formula-e-launches-super-pole-shoot-out.aspx, (Accessed 09/10/2015)
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