BMW Andretti Formula E driver Antonio Felix da Costa claimed pole position for the inaugural Ad Diriyah E-Prix during a disrupted and damp qualifying session.

Pre-season pacesetter da Costa turned in a 1m17.728s in the first group of 11 runners and his lap proved good enough for his maiden Formula E pole and the first in the all-electric series' new Gen2 era, despite track conditions appearing to improve as the session progressed, after heavy rain overnight had disrupted the morning schedule and caused both practice sessions to be cancelled.

Qualifying for the 2018/19 season-opener - which saw the debut of the new longer-lasting and more powerful Gen2 car - was delayed and took place after an additional shortened practice session. It was split into two groups lasting 15 minutes, instead of featuring the standard four heats and Super Pole format.

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NIO’s Tom Dillmann, who was the first driver to take to the 1.5 mile circuit, managed the second-fastest time and ended up 0.165s adrift of da Costa’s effort, however the Frenchman could lose his provisional front-row starting position as he finds himself under investigation for completing more laps than permitted during the session.

Should Dillmann be penalised, it will be the Dragon of Jose Maria Lopez that will instead share the front-row with da Costa, after the Argentine set the third-best time to end up within 0.4s of pole.

Season two champion Sebastien Buemi was fourth-fastest for the rebranded Nissan e.dams entry, ahead of ex-Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who impressed on his Formula E qualifying debut to put his HWA machine fifth on the Saudi Arabia grid.

Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was sixth, ahead of reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne’s Techeetah and new Virgin teammate Robin Frijns, while Mahindra’s Jerome d’Ambrosio and Andre Lotterer completed the top 10, with the latter some 1.5s off the pace.

Audi endured a tricky session as Lucas di Grassi could only manage a time good enough for 11th on the grid, ahead of the lead Jaguar of Mitch Evans and the second Nissan e.dams car driven by Oliver Rowland.

Fellow Briton Oliver Turvey was 14th-quickest for the NIO squad, ahead of Formula E rookie Gary Paffett, Edoardo Mortara, Alexander Sims and Daniel Abt, who wound up a lowly 18th for Audi.

Felipe Massa saw his 250kW flying lap compromised by a late crash for Felix Rosenqvist, who lost control of his Mahindra and hit the wall at the final corner as he returns to the series in a one-off appearance as stand-in for Pascal Wehrlein.

The former Ferrari and Williams F1 driver could only set the 19th-fastest time as a result for Venturi, putting him ahead of only season one champion Nelson Piquet Jr, Maximilian Gunther - whose Dragon came to a halt in the closing stages after a brush with the wall - and Rosenqvist.

Ad Diriyah E-Prix Qualifying Results.