You Don't Even Need To Cross The Finish Line Forwards If You're The Fastest

“Just here to take a look at the finish line I just crossed, NBD.” GIF via FIA Formula E Championship

It doesn’t matter how you get pole position for a race—all that really matters is that you went the fastest, and it counted. Techeetah Formula E driver Jean-Éric Vergne even arrived backwards across the finish line for his fastest lap in qualifying for Race 1 of the Hong Kong ePrix, but who cares? It was enough to score pole position.

Formula E’s season opener in Hong Kong may not have been the shining example of racing’s so-called electric future that the series probably hoped for, but the pole laps from both races in this weekend’s double header were incredible.


Vergne’s messy lap didn’t look all that quick to the commentary team, but he found the few tenths of a second he needed by pushing just a bit too hard as he approached the finish line. Vergne spun, but he crossed the finish line timing beam, so it counted!

Even Sunday’s pole-setting lap is worth the watch, even if it didn’t end as crazy as the first round’s. Pole-setter Felix Rosenqvist can’t keep from getting sideways in his Mahindra throughout the last half of his lap. It’s a series of expert recoveries on Formula E’s notoriously less grippy tires.


You know what might actually make electric cars cool to the doubting masses? Drift them. Formula E is fun and all, but sometimes it feels a bit too conscious of itself when my baser instincts are clamoring for chaos, noise and tire destruction. You can make electrics with a ton of power, just like pro drift builds have. They’ll go sideways just like any other cars.

Listen to me, EV builders: drift them!

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

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I’ve used this strategy at autocross before. Most corners exit speed nearly trumps all... except when there’s a corner right before the lights. It matters how quickly you can break the beam, not HOW you break the beam. If it’s an option, just throw the car in there, and then sort it out later.