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Formula E

Hughes storms to pole as Vergne misses out again

Jake Hughes will start the second race of the Misano E-Prix double-header from pole position.

Hughes Misano
Article
To news overview © Alastair Staley / Formula E

Jake Hughes secured pole position for the second race of the Misano E-Prix double-header, after defeating Jean-Eric Vergne in the final.

Vergne was beaten in Saturday's final and had to settle for defeat again on Sunday, with Hughes' 1:16.538 being two-tenths quicker than his final time.

The McLaren driver was the favourite for pole on Saturday but made an error and was later disqualified from qualifying. There were no mistakes on this occasion. To make the final, Hughes defeated Stoffel Vandoorne and then Pascal Wehrlein.

As for Vergne, he made he final after beating Nick Cassidy and Nico Müller. Wehrlein will start this afternoon's race in third ahead of Müller, with Bird, Vandoorne, Robin Frijns and Cassidy completing the top eight.

Group stage

The opening qualifying group featured yesterday's eventual winner Oliver Rowland and podium finisher Maximilian Günther, as well as Antonio Felix da Costa who was, of course, disqualified from Saturday's race. Another key driver in Group A was Vergne, who was defeated in the final 24 hours prior.

Halfway through the group, it was Vergne at the top on a 1:18.020, with Günther, Müller and Nyck de Vries having provisionally occupied the top four places. Unsurprisingly, given the big names in the first group, there was significant change ahead of the session concluding.

Cassidy posted a 1:17.907 on his final flying lap to progress to the duels as the quickest driver in the first group. Frijns, Müller and Vergne joined him. Da Costa had initially done enough for a place in the top four but had his lap deleted for track limits. Rowland and Günther both missed out.

Group B included the likes of reigning world champion Jake Dennis, Pascal Wehrlein and yesterday's polesitter Mitch Evans. Both McLaren drivers also featured. Sergio Sette Camara was the quickest driver in the group following the opening hot laps, ahead of Sacha Fenestraz, Dennis and Bird.

Again, there was considerable change in the closing minutes, as when the chequered flag was waved, Hughes sat at the top after setting a rapid 1:17.610 – an incredible lap at 300kW. Wehrlein was behind the McLaren driver, whilst Bird and Vandoorne completed the top four.

Dennis could only manage fifth in the group, whilst Evans was eighth, a stark difference to yesterday where he claimed pole.

Quarter-Finals

Into the duels and the opening quarter-final was between Frijns and Müller, with the latter having narrowly missed out on the duels on Saturday. There was no falling short on Sunday though, as Müller defeated Frijns by seven-tenths of a second.

The duel to decide who would meet Müller in the semi-final was between Vergne and Cassidy, who collided with each other on Saturday leading to heated comments after the race. Cassidy provisionally came out victorious but saw his lap deleted for track limits at the last corner.

Quarter-final number three saw Wehrlein against Bird. Bird was quickest in the opening two sectors but a great final sector by Wehrlein was enough to defeat the McLaren driver by 0.072 secs.

Just like on Saturday, though, Hughes was the star of the show and set a blistering 1:16.413, to defeat Vandoorne with absolute ease. Hughes' time was three-tenths of a second faster than the next quickest driver in the quarter-finals. It was also the fastest time in the entirety of qualifying.

Semi-Finals

In the first semi-final targeting a place in the final were Müller and Vergne, the latter aiming for back-to-back final appearances. A power cut for Müller in the first sector opened the door to Vergne, who strutted through to the final with ease on a 1:16.902.

Hoping to meet Vergne in the final were, of course, Hughes and Wehrlein. The McLaren driver was the obvious favourite based on his stunning quarter-final time. Hughes had the edge in the first two sectors but a huge slide in the last corner saw him lose significant time.

However, his 1:16.817 was narrowly enough – Wehrlein was just 0.053 secs slower – to secure a final duel with Vergne.

Final

Into the final duel of the weekend at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli and Vergne gave Hughes a cheeky wave at the end of the pit-lane, before heading out onto the circuit.

Having been so fast all weekend, Hughes was the clear favourite for pole and the three championship points that come with it.

The British driver was two-tenths quicker in the opening sector and maintained his advantage in the second sector. Vergne gave his all but had no say in the last sector, with Hughes coming out victorious after setting a 1:16.538, just over two-tenths quicker than the Frenchman.

It means Vergne lost in both final duels in Misano, although starting on the front row is a positive to settle for, for the two-time Formula E champion.

As for Hughes, his pole made up for his qualifying disqualification on Saturday, which dropped him to the back of the grid.

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