Mahindra Racing’s Alex Lynn took his second Formula E pole with a flier in London ahead of this afternoon’s Heineken London E-Prix Round 12, besting BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver Jake Dennis to make it an all-British front-row on the series’ return to the UK capital after five years away.
Lynn was the penultimate driver to set his Super Pole time and set a brilliant final sector to finish some 0.3s up on Dennis’ then-benchmark to fire to Julius Bar Pole Position.
“It’s been a long time coming from New York 2017 to now!” said Lynn. “To get another one at my home race is special. This afternoon it’s going to be a tough race on a difficult track. We’re in the best place to start and let’s see if we can bring a trophy back home.”
As the fourth driver to in the six-car shootout, Dennis had gone three-tenths up on Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi’s prior best through Sector 1, channeling the British bulldog spirit depicted on his special helmet this weekend. He pieced a similarly-sharp remainder of the lap together to edge the Swiss by 0.083 seconds.
Sergio Sette Camara took fourth for Dragon Penske. Porsche’s Andre Lotterer headed the way in Group Qualifying and looked a good bet for pole, but the experience German couldn’t quite piece it together, leaving him fifth and 0.6s shy of the ultimate pace.
Norman Nato was first to run in Super Pole after squeaking the ROKiT Venturi Racing into the shootout. His 1m23.912s wasn’t a bad lap, and the Frenchman was on the ragged edge to eke out everything from his Mercedes-powered Venturi but it was ultimately only good enough for sixth spot.
Not long left to wait until the first race of the weekend ⚡️
Ride onboard the @DHL_Motorsports #CamCopter for a flying lap of the 2021 @Heineken #LondonEPrix track 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/ibYZCsCi0r
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) July 24, 2021
Not only did the drivers have an all-new circuit to get their heads around at ExCeL London, as well as a world-first indoor/outdoor international motor race, but the conditions made life doubly difficult on the 2.252km/1.4-mile circuit. Rain overnight meant stranding water on-track, and the weather being dragged indoors. The circuit did dry with each passing lap, borne out by three drivers from Group 3 and three from Group 4 making it to Super Pole, and the conditions were tricky enough to catch Free Practice 1 timesheet-topper Maximilian Guenther out entirely.
The German came unstuck on the way into the complex through Turn 15, with the backend of his car breaking loose, seeing his car slip-slide into the wall to his left and terminally damaging his BMW i Andretti Motorsport iFE.21 and throwing a red flag.
“Turns 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 17 still very, very damp,” said Mortara after Group 1’s running, though much of the standing water had dissipated between Free Practice 2 and qualifying.
Race 1 begins a 2:30 p.m. local time, with live coverage on CBSSN beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET.