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Da Costa Scores First Pole in Ad Diriyah

BMW’s Antonio Felix da Costa on pole in Saudi Arabia after confusing qualifying session…

Photo: Andretti Autosport

Antonio Felix da Costa scored his first pole position in a hectic qualifying session for the opening ABB FIA Formula E Championship round of the season in Ad Diriyah on Saturday.

The BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver set a flying lap of 1:17.728 in the first of two qualifying sessions and will start this afternoon’s race from pole for the first time.

He provisionally qualified on top at Long Beach in 2016 but had the pole position removed for a tire irregularity.

Jose Maria Lopez is expected to start alongside the Portuguese driver this afternoon despite qualifying third, as second-placed Tom Dillmann looks set to get a penalty.

Dillmann set multiple flying laps early in the first qualifying session with the amended regulations causing confusion for NIO.

Sebastien Buemi was fourth quickest and is likely to be moved up to third, ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne and Sam Bird.

The second qualifying session had two major incidents, with a red flag pausing the clock with less than four minutes to go after Max Guenther stopped on track.

Felix Rosenqvist hit the barriers right at the end of the session, causing more confusion with marshals waving red flags despite no red flag period officially being brought out by race control.

Da Costa also scores the first points of the Gen 2 era, with three points being awarded for pole position.

The Ad Diriyah E-Prix will get underway at 3:05 p.m. local time.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is e-racing365's Managing Editor and also European Editor for Sportscar365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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