Vandoorne secures maiden Formula E pole in Hong Kong

Stoffel Vandoorne on track in Hong Kong - March 10, 2019.
© Twitter.com / SVandoorne

Former McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne will start from pole position in today's ABB FIA Formula E Hong Kong ePrix race.

It's the Belgian driver's first pole start in the all-electric championship since he switched for Formula E over the winter. It's also HWA's first pole as a team.

Vandoorne set the top time in wet conditions in qualifying on Sunday. he was quickest in his group stage and was then the last of six drivers to go out in superpole.

His time of 1:11.580s was over three tenths faster than the next best man, Nissan e.dams' Oliver Rowland who has been fastest in the opening practice session at the start of the day.

Rowland had almost a second's advantage over Techeetah's Andre Lotterer, with Vandoorne's team mate Gary Paffett securing fourth place on the grid ahead of Audi's Lucas di Grassi and Venturi's Edoardo Mortara.

Motara had originally qualified in third place, but subsequently received a three-place grid penalty for speeding under a red flag earlier in qualifying which had been caused by reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne.

Virgin's Sam Bird just missed out on superpole despite coming second in the tricky opening group behind di Grassi. He'll start the race from seventh place just ahead of Nissan's Sรฉbastien Buemi and Venturi's Felipe Massa.

Bird's team mate Robin Frijns rounds out the top ten on the grid, having been the pace setter in second practice.

Vergne's accident during Group 2 - which saw him lose the back end of the Techeetah and colliding with the wall at the end of his first lap - will start from 18th place after his best times were deleted for causing a red flag.

The showery conditions in Hong Kong that had plagued the drivers all morning through the earlier practice sessions also caught out Andretti's Antonio Felix da Costa and Mahindra pair Pascal Wehrlein and Jerome d'Ambrosio who start from the back of the grid.

The 50th ePrix gets underway in Hong Kong at 4pm local time, or 8am GMT, with drier conditions expected for the green flag.

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