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Lotterer Snatches Maiden Pole in Rome Despite Misstep

Andre Lotterer claims first Formula E pole in dramatic fashion on the streets of Rome…

Photo: Michelin

Andre Lotterer recovered from a brief error on his flying lap to claim his first career ABB FIA Formula E Championship pole for today’s GEOX Rome E-Prix.

The DS Techeetah driver ran two solid opening sectors before skidding wide at the Turn 13 hairpin, but bounced back with a stellar final sequence of corners to steal pole away from Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans.

A brief rain shower between the preliminary qualifying groups and the Super Pole shootout involving the six quickest drivers made for challenging conditions in the final session.

This helped Lotterer, who was fastest in the group stages and so had the best conditions to drive on during Super Pole because he was the last driver to turn a lap on the drying track.

The German’s time of 1:32.123 edged out Evans by 0.360 seconds after the Jaguar driver scored his best qualifying result of the season so far.

Seven different drivers have now taken pole in the first seven races of Formula E’s Gen 2 era.

Jose Maria Lopez, who had a heavy crash in FP2, turned things around to qualify third as both GEOX Dragon Racing cars made the final shootout.

Lopez’s teammate Maximilian Guenther qualified fifth, behind Stoffel Vandoorne in the best of the HWA Racelab machines.

Vandoorne, Guenther and Nissan e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi were all over a second off Lotterer’s pace after heading out early in the session when the track was at its wettest.

Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara and Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns were both bumped out of Super Pole by the final set of group stage runners and will start seventh and eighth respectively.

Alex Lynn qualified ninth for his debut with Panasonic Jaguar Racing, while Pascal Wehrlein completed the top 10 in the best of the Mahindra cars.

The top five drivers in the championship standings all struggled in the opening group, with points leader Antonio Felix da Costa leading the bunch in 13th position.

Jerome d’Ambrosio will start 20th, with Jean-Eric Vergne in 17th, Sam Bird in 14th and Lucas di Grassi in 15th.

Alexander Sims will start from the back of the grid after failing to set a time when his BMW iFE.18 lost power during its flying lap.

Round six of the 2018-19 season gets underway at 4:04 p.m. local time (10:04 a.m. eastern).

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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