Intense Qualifying Battle in Brazil: Vandoorne Narrowly Misses Pole by 0.002s

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In Brazil, the Porsche driver initially took the lead in the opening sector, but Vandoorne countered with a faster time in the remaining sectors.

Despite this, the DS Penske racer missed out on first place by a mere 0.002 seconds after starting from pole last year in Sao Paulo. Wehrlein secured a spot in the finals by defeating Maximilian Guenther by almost three-tenths following a mishap by Guenther on the exit of Turn 18.

However, Wehrlein faces a challenge as he will start from the back of the grid due to penalties incurred for changing his gearbox and inverter before qualifying, resulting in a 40-place grid drop.

Jean-Eric Vergne lost valuable time in the opening sector, costing him three-tenths in a battle within the DS Penske team against Vandoorne, who ultimately set the fastest lap of the qualifying session with a time of 1m12.566s.

Wehrlein’s dominance across all three sectors, resulting in a time of 1m12.846s, secured his advancement to the semi-finals at the expense of Edoardo Mortara.

Maximilian Guenther also progressed by outperforming Sam Bird from McLaren, while Mitch Evans lost ground to Vandoorne in their quarter-final duel due to running deep into Turn 1, ultimately falling short by 0.156s.

Vergne received a fortunate advancement to the quarter-finals after Nico Muller’s Abt machine suffered right-front suspension damage in the qualifying group, rendering him unable to progress to the next stage.

The first qualifying group experienced a red flag shortly after the session began, caused by debris believed to be a weather balloon landing on the circuit between Turns 6-7. Despite the interruption, championship leader Nick Cassidy narrowly missed out on advancing to the duels by only 0.011s at the end of the session.

The order at the top was led by Vergne, with a time of 1m13.731s, followed by Evans and Muller. In the second group, Guenther topped the timesheets with a time of 1m13.516s, ahead of Wehrlein, Mortara, and Bird.

Antonio Felix da Costa of Porsche narrowly missed out on progressing to the duels by 0.005s, with reigning Formula E champion Jake Dennis just half a tenth further behind. Jake Hughes of McLaren led the second McLaren entry, followed by Sacha Fenestraz, Jehan Daruvala, Sebastien Buemi, and Dan Ticktum.

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