Andretti BMW’s Alexander Sims storms to pole in Diriyah

Alexander Sims beats the Mercedes drivers for pole
Alexander Sims beats the Mercedes drivers for pole

Despite difficult track conditions, it was BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Alexander Sims who scooped the Julius Baer Pole Position ahead of the 2019/20 season opener in Saudi Arabia with a time of 1:14.563s. Behind Sims will be both Mercedes-Benz EQ drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and rookie Nyck de Vries as they rounding off the top three grid positions respectively.

Following on is Rokit Venturi Racing's Edoardo Mortara in fourth, followed by Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird, who also locks in an early point for setting the fastest lap in Qualifying. Behind the British driver will be Mahindra Racing's Jerome d'Ambrosio, who rounds off the Super Pole six.

With the desert dust causing chaos on the track, the first group – made up of the top finishers from the 2018/19 season – bore the brunt of the testing conditions. None of the drivers first out made it into Super Pole.

Missing out on the Super Pole shoot out was TAG Heuer Porsche's Andre Lotterer, who will start the race in seventh ahead of Nissan e.dams' Oliver Rowland and BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther in ninth. Rounding off the top ten was NIO 333's Oliver Turvey in front of reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne who will need to battle through the pack after starting from 11th.

Sims collects his pole award
Sims collects his pole award

Starting from 12th, will be Envision Virgin Racing's Robin Frijns who set the fastest time during Practice 1. The Dutchman will be followed by Mahindra Racing's Pascal Wehrlein, Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) and Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Daniel Abt in 15th.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans will start the race in 16th, in front of Rokit Venturi Racing's Felipe Massa, newcomer Brendon Hartley (Geox Dragon) and former champ Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler) and Porsche's Neel Jani, who rounds off the top 20 drivers.

Making up the remaining four is DS Techeetah's Antonio Felix da Costa after miss-timing his lap in Qualifying and NIO's Quinghua Ma, while Dragon's Nico Mueller and Jaguar's James Calado make up the back row after failing to set a time following a collision with the wall.

Starting Lineup

1 Alexander Sims Andretti BMW BMW 1m14.563s 0.000s
2 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes Mercedes 1m14.839s 0.276s
3 Nyck de Vries Mercedes Mercedes 1m14.929s 0.366s
4 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Mercedes 1m15.131s 0.568s
5 Sam Bird Virgin Audi 1m15.350s 0.787s
6 Jerome d'Ambrosio Mahindra Mahindra 1m15.539s 0.976s
7 Andre Lotterer Porsche Porsche 1m15.518s 0.955s
8 Oliver Rowland e.dams Nissan 1m15.653s 1.090s
9 Max Guenther Andretti BMW BMW 1m15.680s 1.117s
10 Oliver Turvey NIO NIO 1m16.018s 1.455s
11 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah DS 1m16.129s 1.566s
12 Robin Frijns Virgin Audi 1m16.200s 1.637s
13 Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Mahindra 1m16.200s 1.637s
14 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Nissan 1m16.243s 1.680s
15 Daniel Abt Audi Audi 1m16.264s 1.701s
16 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 1m16.532s 1.969s
17 Felipe Massa Venturi Mercedes 1m16.583s 2.020s
18 Brendon Hartley Dragon Penske 1m17.074s 2.511s
19 Lucas di Grassi Audi Audi 1m17.213s 2.650s
20 Neel Jani Porsche Porsche 1m17.745s 3.182s
21 Antonio Felix da Costa DS Techeetah DS 1m18.613s 4.050s
22 Ma Qing Hua NIO NIO 1m21.701s 7.138s
23 Nico Muller Dragon Penske 1m23.017s 8.454s
24 James Calado Jaguar Jaguar 1m23.792s 9.229s

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