Formula E: Frijins masters the wet to win pole for Berlin Race 2

After coming up with the best setup for a wet racetrack, the Abt Formula E team qualified 1st and 2nd with Robin Frijns taking pole from teammate Nico Muller Berlin E-Prix Sunday Race (Race 2).

Weather conditions changed dramatically overnight in Berlin, with rain resulting in a wet track for the session after a damp Free Practice 3. It meant the first time we’d see these conditions for qualifying in GEN3 – a new challenge for the drivers, engineers and the new-for-Season 9 Hankook tires.

We saw the ABT CUPRA cars hook it up and finally find their feet, delivering a stunning front-row lock out here in front of the team’s home support. The duo of Robin Frijns and Nico Mueller helped deliver one of the biggest surprises of the season so far, on their way to the team’s best-ever qualifying result for their two drivers.

That was Frijns’ second-ever Julius Baer Pole Position and a first for the team since its return to the series, as well as for partners CUPRA.


If anyone had predicted it before the day started, they wouldn’t have been telling the truth but both ABT CUPRA drivers lined up against one-another in the Final of the Duels. Although both the teammates, and close friends, had been setting some stunning lap times along the way, it was Frijns who stormed ahead and made it look easy with a 0.6 second margin.

Navigating the wet circuit surface, the Dutchman went six tenths quicker in the final stage of their herculean qualifying efforts to set a time of 1m18.748s. It also means that Mahindra Racing powertrains now have two poles this season, whereas TAG Heuer Porsche who lead the championship have none.

Although the polesitter of the last ten Formula E races have not gone on to win, this result will inevitably help with team morale as they’ve earned their first championship points of the season, three for pole.


There were questions about how long ABT CUPRA could hold on to this incredible pace in qualifying, especially as they had never even made it through to the Duels at all so far this season. However, both Mueller and Frijns put on a show for the team’s home crowd.

Taking to the track first was Jean-Eric Vergne (DS PENSKE) and Mueller. The ABT CUPRA driver up until today had a best career start of sixth in Diriyah 2021, but managed the seemingly impossible and beat the two-time champion in the battle by going a tenth quicker, with the car hooked up in wet trim. Frenchman Vergne would settle for fourth.

After him, teammate Frijns tried his best to make it the first-ever front row lockout. Would it be an all ABT CUPRA lock out or an all Swiss front-row as he went up against Envision’s Sebastien Buemi? Frijns’ last front-row start was at Tempelhof last season, and he managed the same in 2020. In a typically-Formula E twist, Frijns managed to beat Buemi and make it an ABT CUPRA lockout, with the Swiss set to start third.


First up was championship leader Pascal Wehrlein vs Mueller. The ABT CUPRA driver had yet to reach the Duels, and had a best qualifying result of 13th up to this point in Season 9. However, it was incredible scenes as Mueller managed to get the better of the two laps and progressed into the Semis. Standings leader Wehrlein will line-up sixth.

It wasn’t just him, as in Quarter Final 3, teammate Frijns did the same and knocked out yesterday’s race winner, Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans. Clearly the wet conditions were a blessing to the team who had yet to score points this season. Yesterday’s race winner Evans starts fifth.

DS PENSKE’s Jean-Eric Vergne went up against Avalanche Andretti driver Jake Dennis for a third time. The Brit had not won in the Duels since the opening race of the season in Mexico City, and this unwanted record continued as Vergne managed to go 0.429s quicker in the head to head. Dennis will start Round 8 from seventh on the grid.

Berlin Race 2 Qualifying Results

1 4 Robin FRIJNS NLD ABT CUPRA FORMULA E TEAM B 1:18.447 1:18.423 1:18.743 1:18.748
2 51 Nico MÜLLER CHE ABT CUPRA FORMULA E TEAM A 1:19.092 1:18.493 1:19.177 1:19.380
3 16 Sébastien BUEMI CHE Envision Racing B 1:18.282 1:18.813
4 25 Jean-Éric Vergne FRA DS PENSKE A 1:19.047 1:19.298
5 9 Mitch EVANS NZL Jaguar TCS Racing B 1:18.528 1:18.492
6 94 Pascal WEHRLEIN DEU TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team A 1:19.073 1:18.805
7 27 Jake DENNIS GBR Avalanche Andretti Formula E A 1:19.264 1:19.727
8 37 Nick CASSIDY NZL Envision Racing B 1:18.650
9 1 Stoffel VANDOORNE BEL DS PENSKE B 1:18.974
10 13 António Félix Da Costa PRT TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team A 1:19.297
11 10 Sam BIRD GBR Jaguar TCS Racing B 1:19.010
13 33 Dan TICKTUM GBR NIO 333 Racing FE Team B 1:19.232
15 5 Jake HUGHES GBR NEOM McLaren Formula E Team B 1:19.257
16 36 André LOTTERER DEU Avalanche Andretti Formula E A 1:19.741
17 48 Edoardo MORTARA CHE Maserati MSG Racing B 1:19.422
18 58 René RAST DEU NEOM McLaren Formula E Team A 1:20.848
19 3 Sérgio SETTE CÂMARA BRA NIO 333 Racing FE Team B 1:19.441
20 23 Sacha FENESTRAZ FRA Nissan Formula E Team A 1:21.059
21 7 Maximilian GÜNTHER DEU Maserati MSG Racing B 1:19.961
22 17 Norman Nato FRA Nissan Formula E Team A 1:21.272


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