Formula E: Nick Cassidy seals Pole for Sunday’s Rome E-Prix

Nick Cassidy (shown above) threaded his way through tricky, slippy conditions at the Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR to take a first Formula E Julius Baer Pole Position, while ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Norman Nato made it an all-rookie front row, pipping Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein.

Cassidy had earlier topped FP3, and was second-last to run in Super Pole having made his way into the shootout from Group 4. The Kiwi carried plenty of speed and measured things nicely to outdo provisional polesitter Wehrlein by 0.6 seconds. Nato was the last man to set a time and slotted in-between the Virgin and the Porsche.

Pole man Nick Cassidy (NZL), Envision Virgin Racing, with his trophy

Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) was promoted to Super Pole after Porsche’s Andre Lotterer saw his Group Qualifying time – good enough for second – removed due to power overuse. The Belgian jumped back into his overalls to go hunt for a dry line, and with the rain now stopped he did briefly set the day’s provisional fastest time before Wehrlein fired 1.7 seconds clear.

Alexander Sims (Mahindra Racing) and Maximilian Guenther (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) were unable to improve on the prior duo’s efforts but rookie Cassidy would and final runner Nato did likewise to slot into second, despite clouting a barrier.

Norman Nato (FRA), Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02, leaves the garage and goes 2nd quick

“I’ve been quite happy the last few races and felt pretty comfortable and have settled in but just had nothing to show for it,” said Cassidy. “I’m pleased today all came together, it’s like the monkey off my back. I’ve no idea what to expect in the race with the conditions. It’s a different mindset starting out front with strategy and energy management but we should be okay!”

The rain eased and the track dried as time passed in qualifying, with Group 1 seeing the worst of it, leaving the likes of Round 3 race winner well down the order and almost nine seconds off the Group Qualifying pace.

The standings top three find themselves back in the pack as early runners in Group Qualifying: Sam Bird (Jaguar Racing) will line up 11th, while Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing) 19th and Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) 18th.

Sunday Qualifying Results

Pos Driver Team Time Behind
1 Nick Cassidy Virgin Racing 1m52.011s 0.000s
2 Norman Nato Venturi 1m52.343s 0.332s
3 Pascal Wehrlein Porsche Team 1m52.630s 0.619s
4 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes 1m54.359s 2.348s
5 Maximilian Gunther Andretti Autosport 1m54.701s 2.690s
6 Alexander Sims Mahindra Racing 1m55.598s 3.587s
7 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes 1m59.105s 3.099s
8 Edoardo Mortara Venturi 1m59.497s 3.491s
9 Oliver Rowland DAMS 1m59.512s 3.506s
10 Nico Müller Dragon Racing 1m59.630s 3.624s
11 Sébastien Buemi DAMS 1m59.701s 3.695s
12 Sam Bird Jaguar Racing 1m59.739s 3.733s
13 Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing 2m00.128s 4.122s
14 Lucas di Grassi Team Abt 2m00.150s 4.144s
15 Tom Blomqvist NIO Formula E Team 2m00.205s 4.199s
16 Antonio Felix da Costa Techeetah 2m00.557s 4.551s
17 Alex Lynn Mahindra Racing 2m00.943s 4.937s
18 Oliver Turvey NIO Formula E Team 2m01.197s 5.191s
19 Nyck de Vries Mercedes 2m01.229s 5.223s
20 Robin Frijns Virgin Racing 2m02.038s 6.032s
21 René Rast Team Abt 2m02.061s 6.055s
22 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah 2m04.864s 8.858s
23 Sergio Sette Camara Dragon Racing No Time No Time
24 Jake Dennis Andretti Autosport No Time No Time