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Rookie Rosenqvist takes Formula E pole in Marrakesh


FIA Formula E Second Pre-Season Testing Event. Donington Park Racecourse, Derby, United Kingdom. Wednesday 7 September 2016. Photo: Adam Warner / LAT ref: Digital Image _L5R3547

Formula E

Felix Rosenqvist sprung a surprise on the Formula E grid in qualifying for the Marrakesh ePrix on Saturday by snatching pole position for just his second race in the series.

Recent Indy Lights racer Rosenqvist moved into Formula E with Mahindra for the all-electric series’ third season, putting his street course knowledge to good use on debut in Hong Kong to record the fastest lap of the race.

Rosenqvist impressed through qualifying in Marrakesh, finishing second in the group stages before taking provisional pole with his final lap of the session in Super Pole.

Jean-Eric Vergne had set the pace for Techeetah early on and was the only driver who could deny Rosenqvist pole, only for drama to strike and a mix-up with the team’s timings to leave him stranded at the end of the pit lane with the red light on.

With Vergne unable to head out and set a time, Rosenqvist could revel in securing his maiden pole in the series at just the second attempt.

“We knew in Hong Kong we were quick. We even took it to the next step here with pole position here, very nice,” Rosenqvist said.

“We had to push quite hard, but the car has been really good all day. Big thanks to the team and the engineer for making it perfect.”

Defending champion Sebastien Buemi qualified second after a solid run through qualifying, while Sam Bird slotted into third place for DS Virgin Racing ahead of Hong Kong polesitter Nelson Piquet Jr. Vergne was left fifth on the grid after the issue.

Track improvement meant the later runners in the group phase had the upper hand, leaving Daniel Abt on the bubble in P6 despite looking comfortable after Q3. Nicolas Prost finished seventh in the second Renault e.dams ahead of Oliver Turvey, while the Andretti pair of Robin Frijns and Antonio Felix da Costa rounded out the top 10.

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