Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz has tentatively clinched his second Formula E pole position of the season after beating McLaren’s Jake Hughes to first place in qualifying for the Monaco E-Prix.
Hughes had been slightly quicker than Fenestraz in the opening sector despite sliding through Sainte Dévote, but the Briton lost any chance of pole after cutting through the Nouvelle Chicane.
Fenestraz’s 1m29.131s was good enough for his second championship pole position, having started first in Cape Town, but remains under investigation for a possible technical infraction.
Fenestraz previously clocked an incredible 1m28.773s – the fastest qualifying lap – in his semi-final duel against team-mate Norman Nato, going faster in all three sectors to finish nearly half a second behind. ahead of the French.
Hughes qualified for the final after also setting a time under 1m29s, lapping 0.508s ahead of Maximilian Gunther.
NIO 333’s Sergio Sette Camara had comfortably beaten Gunther in the last quarter-final duel, but the Brazilian was deprived of his lap time after running a red light at the end of the pit lane.
Gunther’s Maserati MSG team-mate Edoardo Mortara lost to Hughes in their quarter-final duel, with the Briton setting a time almost four-tenths quicker.
Fenestraz had beaten NIO 333’s Dan Ticktum in his quarter-final bout, outpacing the Briton in all three sectors to post a 1m29.031s – the fastest time in that qualifying segment.
An incredible final sector from Nato saw him beat Jaguar’s Mitch Evans, a 1m29.113 almost three tenths quicker than the Kiwi who trailed him in the opening sector.
Jake Hughes, McLaren, e-4ORCE 04
Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images
Gunther had previously led the second qualifying group with a 1m30.175s from Hughes and Mortara with Sette Camara fourth – just 0.095s spanning the top four.
Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy failed to make progress after dropping two tenths in the final sector after catching Gunther on the final corner – with the German under investigation – as fellow Championship challenger Jake Dennis finished behind the Sixth grade Kiwi.
Nissan won a surprise 1-2 in the first qualifying group, Nato posting a 1m30.138s to go 0.011s faster than team-mate Fenestraz, with Ticktum just 0.007s behind in an incredibly close session.
Evans secured the final duel spot, beating Andretti Autosport’s Andre Lotterer by less than half a tenth as championship leader Pascal Wehrlein struggled again in qualifying, finishing sixth in the group and will start 11th for the race.
The Porsche driver was promoted to one spot as Stoffel Vandoorne and his DS Penske teammate Jean-Eric Vergne were stripped of all their times due to a tire pressure violation and will start on the back line.
Monaco E-Prix – Qualifying results: