UPDATE: Sebastian Buemi has been given a penalty for exceeding the 200kW energy limit allowed in qualifying. He now starts down in P10 as his second fastest lap time from Q4 becomes his qualifying time.
Da Costa has also had his fastest lap time taken away for the same reason and will now start P7.
All this means Daniel Abt has now been promoted to pole position. He should be delighted having missed a lot of time during practice today.
Sebastian Buemi took a sensational pole position in the dying seconds of qualifying to take yet another pole for the e.Dams-Renault team. He kept his calm during a red flagged Q4 session to displace Daniel Abt, who himself looked to have momentarily snatched pole from Buemi’s teammate Nico Prost.
It’s a result that Buemi needed, given how impressive his teammate Prost has been throughout the season. A win here would put him right back into the championship hunt. Buemi was clearly delighted with his pole position, telling Nicki Shields ‘It’s good. Now we need to finish the race and take as many points as possible. I’m so happy after the last race’.
Asked whether he could become the first driver to covert a pole position to a win, he said ‘I hope so. I’ve already started from pole once so hopefully this time it will work’.
Daniel Abt took P2 with a stunning lap at the death of qualifying, finishing ahead of his teammate Lucas Di Grassi. It was a lap that surprised even him; ‘I didn’t expect this today. I damaged the car in Practice 1 and got limited running. I was really nervous going into qualifying. I think it helped being in Group 4’.
Prost’s time in the second session looked good enough for P1 but several drivers looked to threaten it. Nelson Piquet, who finished the session in 4th place, will be left frustrated that his quickest lap was ruined by traffic.
It was not a great day for Team Virgin, with both drivers suffering due to track evolution despite putting in competitive times. Sam Bird fell to P11 despite posting a lap just half a second slower than the pole time, whilst Jaime Alguersuari suffered due to a lack of running in free practice. Whilst he managed to finish 3rd in the opening group, he eventually fell to 14th and will struggle to score points during the race.
It was another qualifying session to forget for Team Trulli and Mahindra Racing who again found themselves struggling, highlighting just how far both teams are behind the leading pack.
Be sure to join us on twitter @FormulaEDiary for what looks set to be a great race!
Written by: Anil Parmar