Sébastian Buemi claimed an unbelievable pole position at round two of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with the former Formula E Champion having beaten rookie Jake Hughes in the Final of the duels at the Diriyah E-Prix, to match the record for most pole positions in the all-electric championship. It was also Buemi’s first pole position since Season Five staggeringly, with the Swiss driver now being hopeful of claiming his first victory for Envision Racing.
So as qualifying got underway at the Riyadh Street Circuit, Sacha Fenestraz, Hughes, Edoardo Mortara, António Félix da Costa, Oliver Rowland, Dan Ticktum, Norman Nato, Nick Cassidy, Jake Dennis, Maximilian Günther and Lucas di Grassi ventured out onto the circuit, as the sun slowly began to set.
As the drivers completed their initial laps, the session was suddenly red flagged following a heavy crash for Günther at Turn Seven, with the German driver having weirdly appeared to have simply gone into the corner too quickly. The front-right of his Maserati Tipo Folgore was completely destroyed, with the question now being if Maserati MSG Racing can repair his car before the race. When the session finally restarted, just over ten minutes later, Fenestraz, Hughes, Mortara and da Costa occupied the all-important top four spots; however, real respectable times were yet to be seen.
Just over six minutes remained when the session restarted, with the vast majority of the drivers having quickly gotten back out onto the circuit. With four minutes remaining, Hughes became the first driver to break into the more respectable 1:10s; however, much faster times were to come. Dennis and Di Grassi also broke just into the high 1:10s, with a tenth having separated the top three. With two minutes remaining, life suddenly became even worse for Maserati, as Mortara heavily hit the wall at Turn Sixteen, bringing his qualifying to an end after destroying the rear of his car.
At the front and it was all change as the drivers completed their final laps, with it being delight for Mahindra Racing, as Rowland and Di Grassi both made the duels. Topping the session with a strong 1:10.269 was Hughes, with Free Practice Two pacesetter Ticktum having also made the duels. It meant that Championship leader Dennis was out after only managing sixth, resulting in eleventh on the grid.