Hong Kong ePrix: NEXTEV lock out front row; Piquet takes pole in messy qualifying session

It was apparent in free practice that the Hong Kong circuit was an unforgiving beast, but changes to a kerb changed the flow of the track and caught more than one driver out.

nextev-formula-e-team-nelson-piquet-jr
Nelson Piquet Jr and Oliver Turvey Photo: Alastair Staley / LAT

One of those drivers was season two runner-up, Lucas Di Grassi, who took his front wing off while on his flying lap.

Ma Qing Hua then launched himself airborne at the same chicane, while Robin Frijns went nose-first into the barrier. All three will start the race at the back of the grid.

Those who suffered woes in practice soon came good in their qualifying sessions. Loic Duval set the early pace but was soon outdone by Oliver Turvey, whose car stopped twice on track in free practice one.

Turvey was displaced at the top of the timesheets by his teammate Nelson Piquet, who ended up in the barrier in free practice two. After the announcement that Super Pole would be cancelled due to the overrunning schedule, the team then held the provisional front row.

Jean-Eric Vergne returned to the track in his Techeetah after his lap was interrupted by Frijns’ crash but was unable to make the top five.

Defending champion Sebastien Buemi was unable to mount a challenge to the Brazilian and could only manage fifth fastest behind the DS Virgin Racing cars. Rookie Jose Maria Lopez out qualified Formula E veteran Sam Bird.

As a result, the first ever Formula E champion clinched his first pole position – an impressive feat, given he ended free practice two in the wall.

The Hong Kong ePrix begins at 9am BST.

  1. Nelson Piquet Jr NEXTEV NIO
  2. Oliver Turvey NEXTEV NIO
  3. Jose Maria Lopez DS Virgin Racing
  4. Sam Bird DS Virgin Racing
  5. Sebastien Buemi Renault e.Dams
  6. Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra
  7. Daniel Abt Abt Schaeffler Audi
  8. Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah
  9. Nico Prost Renault e.Dams
  10. Nick Heidfeld Mahindra
  11. Loic Duval Faraday Future Dragon Racing
  12. Maro Engel Venturi
  13. Antonio Felix Da Costa MS Amlin Andretti
  14. Stephane Sarrazin Venturi
  15. Mitch Evans Jaguar
  16. Ma Qing Hua Techeetah
  17. Adam Carroll Jaguar
  18. Jerome D’Ambrosio Faraday Future Dragon Racing
  19. Lucas Di Grassi Abt Schaeffler Audi
  20. Robin Frijns MS Amlin Andretti

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