Guenther was on fire all morning, topping every single timed session and carrying his Round 10 form into Round 11. He was duly unstoppable in the Final having made it by his teammate Edoardo Mortara and reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne with relative ease. Can he go better than third come the race?
The same duo of Dennis and Guenther found themselves in the finale, and despite only achieving his maiden Julius Baer Pole Position yesterday, the Maserati driver made it two in a row in Jakarta. Going quicker than Dennis by a whopping 0.585s, Guenther has become the first driver with consecutive poles since Dennis did it himself in London last year.
Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) and Dennis went head-to-head in the first Semi-Final. Over the lap, we could see it would be a close call, but in the end Dennis made it through to the Final of the Duels by just 0.001s! It’s one of the closest results we’ve ever seen - the closest being the dead heat between Alexander Sims and JEV back in Berlin Season 8. It meant that Dennis would start on the front row for the second consecutive race.
The second battle saw both Maseratis go against each other in the the third consecutive race that both Guenther and Mortara have reached Duels. Guenther squared off against Mortara in yesterday’s Quarters and won, and history repeated itself as he went quickest again to achieve his third front row start of the year. Mortara lines up fourth.
The first of the four pairings to battle it out was the Jaguar of Evans and Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz. It was the first time these two had met in the Duels, and it was Evans who came out on top. Although it was the eighth time Evans had made the Duels this season, he hadn’t won a stage since São Paulo five races ago - a stat he has now brought to an end. Fenestraz settles for seventh.
Next up, was the two Jakes as Hughes and Dennis went head-to-head. Both have won a duel against each other so far this season, but until this session Hughes had the highest win percentage of any driver in Duels format - an impressive 75%. However, it was Dennis who went fastest and progressed through to the Semis while Hughes will start eighth.
Mortara might only have won one duel at a race this year, which he did in São Paulo, but that didn’t stop him beating yesterday's race winner Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche). The Maseratis seem to have really found their rhythm around this Jakarta circuit and in these hot and humid conditions. Wehrlein lines up sixth.
Finally, Guenther took on Vandoorne. The DS PENSKE driver tried his best to get his GEN3 machine though, decorated in special 100th race livery for DS Performance, but the Maserati man was unstoppable and made it through to the Semis. The reigning champion starts Round 11 fifth.
After making through to the Duels yesterday, Dennis did the same for Round 11 and topped his group, setting a time of 1m08.434s. He was joined in the fastest four by three drivers who failed to make the Duels yesterday. In second place was Fenestraz, with Mitch Evans in third and the McLaren of Jake Hughes sealing the final spot in the Quarter-Finals.
Championship leader Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) narrowly missed out on the Duels as he locked up on his flying lap. The Kiwi finished in fifth and was just 0.023s off the time of Hughes, so it’s safe to assume he would have made it through without the mistake.
NIO 333’s Dan Ticktum went for a spin right at the final corner as he approached the start/finish straight. In a bid to get moving as quickly as possible, Ticktum caused quite the smokeshow and he spun to face the right way!
The guys that progressed were split by just 0.051s. Beyond close.
Guenther continued his run of domination as he topped the timesheets, again. As well as finishing all three free practice sessions quickest, he also went fastest in both Group B sessions over this Jakarta double header weekend. Just like yesterday, his Maserati teammate joined him in the Duels as Mortara finished just 0.008s behind in second.
Round 10 race winner Pascal Wehrlein managed to get through to the Duels for a second consecutive race, after struggling with qualifying at a large majority of tracks so far this season. Reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne secured the final slot in the Quarter Finals as he finished in fourth as his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne just missed out and ended the session in fifth.
Just under two-tenths separated the top six drivers, with Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa almost ending up in the wall in one of his last laps before he crossed the finish line in sixth.