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Buemi edges Pole Position in close Diriyah E-Prix qualifying

Envision Racing's Sebastien Buemi triumphed over Jake Hughes in a marginal qualifying session for race one of the Diriyah E-Prix.

Sebastien Buemi defeated Jake Hughes in a knife-edge qualifying contest which eventually swung in favour of the Envision Racing driver. Winning the qualifying final by less than one tenth of a second, the Swiss driver claimed his first Formula E Pole Position since the 2019 New York E-Prix, a run which spanned more than three years. He defeated McLaren's Hughes, who was denied a first ever Formula E pole in just his second event. Sam Bird made big strides from his disastrous race in Mexico City to line up third on the grid for Jaguar, with the Briton narrowly missing out on a achieving a miraculous final appearance by one tenth of a second. Dan Ticktum will start the race from P4 after a dramatic slide at the last corner of the circuit cost him half-a-second and denied him the chance of competing in the qualifying shootout final. Rene Rast completed a strong qualifying session for McLaren, completing the fastest lap of the defeated quarter-finalists, but falling over one tenth of a second away from Bird in their duel. Despite leading the early part of his clash with Buemi, Mitch Evans was unable to make it two Jaguars in the top four, and lost his battle by over one-quarter of a second. Mahindra driver and Mexico City E-Prix pole sitter Lucas di Grassi was unable to beat Hughes in his quarter-final clash, and was comfortably defeated by the McLaren driver. Oliver Rowland lost out in his quarter-final clash with Ticktum, with the second Mahindra driver finishing over half-a-second off the pace.

Disastrous qualifying for Maserati

Championship leader Jake Dennis was an early casualty from qualifying. The Mexico City E-Prix winner finished 6th in Group A qualifying to qualify outside the top ten overall. It's looking like another tough weekend for the DS Penske team, with Formula E champions Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Eric Vergne nowhere near the pace required to progress to knockout qualifying. There was an early red flag in Group A qualifying when Maximilian Guenther crashed his Maserati into the barrier. The German driver was unscathed, but will start from the back row of the grid. Maserati's session went from bad to worse as Edoardo Mortara lost the rear of the car and clattered the barrier, putting their second car out of qualifying.

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying