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Jean-Eric Vergne claims Berlin pole as di Grassi struggles

Vergne claims Berlin pole as di Grassi struggles
By AutoSport

21/05/2016 at 13:35Updated 21/05/2016 at 17:12

Jean-Eric Vergne claimed pole position for the Berlin ePrix, which Formula E championship leader Lucas di Grassi will start down in 10th.

Vergne's superpole effort of 57.811s bested Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi by just 0.016s.

"I thought the lap wasn't going to be good enough," said Vergne, who clinched his first podium for DS Virgin Racing in the previous race in Paris and has now earned his first pole for the team as well.

"I'm really happy. Everything is going well at the moment."

Buemi was the last to run but was half a second slower than his group stage benchmark in the superpole and has to settle for a front-row start.

He was only 0.025s quicker than Daniel Abt, the German getting the better of Abt Audi Sport team-mate di Grassi in qualifying for the first time since last year's race in Long Beach.

Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) - GP of Russia 2014

Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) - GP of Russia 2014AFP

Di Grassi was the biggest casualty of the group phase of qualifying, though apart from a slight mistake he was not unhappy with his lap, a 58.183s.

But that was four tenths slower than team-mate Abt managed, and the result was the German sneaking into the superpole while di Grassi was left at the foot of the top 10.

Sam Bird was the first of those not to make it into the shootout and will line up sixth ahead of NEXTEV TCR's Nelson Piquet Jr, who secured the best grid position of his title defence.

Nicolas Prost was only eighth after a lairy lap in his group, with Oliver Turvey completing a much better qualifying performance for NEXTEV team in ninth.

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