Fenestraz Monaco pole under investigation

Sacha Fenestraz, Nissan Formula E Team, Nissan e-4ORCE 04

Sacha Fenestraz has taken pole in Monaco for Round 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, yet the result is pending over a potential technical infringement.

After setting the fastest Formula-E lap ever posted in the principality with a 1m28.77s, Fenestraz dominated the last Duel to beat Jake Hughes after a mistake by the McLaren NEOM driver.

Update: Fenestraz stripped of Monaco E-Prix pole.

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The Nissan driver’s final time of 1:29:131s saw him take his second pole of the year but at the conclusion of Qualifying, Fenestraz was confirmed to be under investigation due to a technical infringement, a suspected ‘power’ issue with his car, with the result under threat ahead of the E-Prix.

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Nissan team-mate Norman Nato continued the team’s strong form through the streets of Monaco, starting from the second row in third for the race after Fenestraz displaced him in the Semi-Finals.

Group A qualifying saw the Jaguar TCS Racing team-mates post the first laps of the day with the quickest in FP1, Mitch Evans, going to the top with a time of 1:30:956s.

Nissan’s Fenestraz slotted in behind him with a 1:31:101s.

With six minutes to go, Jean-Èric Vergne posted a time of 1:30:566s and his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was only 0.277s behind to make it a DS Penske one-two.

But Evans, off the back of his Berlin win, improved to be quickest with a 1:30:432s with four minutes to go.

Nato went in fastest with a 1:30:425s as Dan Ticktum slid into the last Duel position of 1:30:565s.

But as the chequered flag fell, the biggest upset of the session came from Championship leader Pascal Wehrlein not moving through to the Duels as he did not improve into the Top 4.

The Nissan duo of Nato and Fenestraz moved into first and second respectively with their best times of 1:30:138s and 1:30:149s.

Ticktum improved to third and only 0.018s behind with a 1:30:156s, and Berlin race winner Evans took the final Duel spot of Group A with a 1:30:285s.

Vergne and Vandoorne had their lap times deleted at the conclusion of Group A qualifying due to an infringement regarding tyre pressures, meaning the DS Penske pair will start the Monaco E-Prix at the back of the grid.

Group B Qualifying started off with Maximilian Gunther, who topped FP2 earlier in the day, with a flying time of 1:30:638 as Nick Cassidy was only 0.043s behind with a time of 1:30:681s.

With five minutes to go, Sergio Sette Camara and Luca Di Grassi were third and fourth, only 0.245 and 0.252s off the fastest time.

Maserati’s Gunther went quickest in a 1:30:175s whilst Hughes went second with a 1:30:179s, with two minutes to go in the session.

Mortara posted the quickest final sector in his last lap to go third with a 1:30:241s, whilst Cassidy got held up in traffic on his flying lap and did not improve past fifth and into the Duels.

Sette Câmara took the final Duel position with a 1:30:270s, only 0.095s off the fastest time.

The NIO 333 driver had his lap times deleted due to tyre pressure infringements but was able to continue into the Duels.

The Duels

Ticktum went up against Fenestraz in the first Duel of the Monaco weekend and Fenestraz proved quicker to move into the Semi-Finals with a 1:29:031s.

Evans and Nato were next to put a lap against each other, Nato going quicker with a 1:29:113s to put him into the Semi-Finals to go up against Nissan team-mate.

Hughes went quicker than Mortara in Quarter Final 3 with his time of 1:29:082s and the final Semi-Final Duel position did initially go to Sette Camara, but he was investigated due to a Qualifying infringement after leaving the pit lane while the exiting pit light was red.

As his best lap time was deleted, his competitor Gunther’s time of 1:29:636s brought him instead through to the Semi-Finals.

The first Semi-Final between the Nissan duo went the way of Fenestraz as he posted a 1:28:773s, the quickest time in the history of Formula E’s Duels.

The other Semi-Final between Hughes and Gunther was won by the McLaren NEOM driver with a 1:29:942s, half a second clear of the Maserati driver, who starts from fourth as Nato will start third.

The final between the Fenestraz and McLaren NEOM’s Hughes was easily won by the French-Argentine as Hughes lost the rear of his McLaren and went too deep negotiating the Nouvelle Chicane, missing the first apex.

This mistake meant his lap was deleted due to track limits leaving Fenestraz to finish on pole around the principality, his time of 1:29:131s easily shading Hughes’ 1:31:616 for a convincing – yet pending – pole position.

The Monaco E-Prix will begin at 23:03 AEST/15:03 local time.

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