When Jaguar Racing joined Formula E in season three, they inevitably found themselves at a slight disadvantage as teams around them had already gained two years experience in the all-electric championship. The first season proved slow and a huge learning curve, with the team’s best result being a 4th place and 8th place at the Mexico City ePrix for Mitch Evans and Adam Carroll, respectively. Nelson Piquet Jr, the season one champion in Formula E, then joined the team for season four alongside Evans.
Season Four, with the duo of Evans and Piquet Jr, proved to be more of a success. Evans earned his first ever pole position in Formula E and even managed to secure himself a podium finish after Daniel Abt’s disqualification in Hong Kong.
However, with the introduction of the Gen2 cars and Jaguar taking big steps such as producing most of their race car in-house, Evans has really had his time to shine and finally demonstrate the raw and impressive talent he has behind the wheel. Finally taking his first Formula E win this year and currently sitting in third in the drivers’ standings, the Kiwi could take the title this weekend. I caught up with him away from the track to hear his thoughts on his best Formula E season to date and how he and the team plan on tackling this possible career-defining weekend.
“Everyone [at Jaguar] is very fired up and excited this weekend. The fact that we are a young-ish team compared to others makes it is the first time we have been in this position. Let’s see what happens. It’s a long shot that we take the title, P2 is a lot more realistic but look I have got a chance so I have got to score big regardless. I have got a lot of guys behind me that can take that P3 away from me. I need to have a clean weekend and score both days.
With a possible eight drivers being in with a mathematical chance of taking the title this weekend, Evans describes the “crazy” amount of contenders.
“It is stressful for us. It can go so quickly either way with it being a double-header. If you manage to do what Sam Bird did a few years ago and win both races then you are giving yourself the best opportunity. I am feeling good but you need to qualify well and I am in group one so that is going to be really tricky.” Evans qualified in 13th after race one.
As for the New York track, “it is not my favourite” Evans states. “Historically, I have not had amazing results here. I qualified second last year which was good but I had a drive shaft failure off the line which doesn’t help but hopefully it is a little kinder to me.”
When Formula E welcomed the second generation of its cars this season, Evans explains that the sport as a whole found it “hard to predict” who would be fighting for the championship.
“It was hard to know if anyone was going to get a step above everyone else, but I think everyone has been quite surprised with how tight the championship has been. As I have been gaining more experience, so has the team, so I knew we were going to be in a strong position but you never know until you actually get a few races into the season. It has been my strongest season and the team’s as well so it means we are going in the right way but we need to keep improving and the atmosphere in the team is at a very good level. It is great to see and the confidence is very powerful. Hopefully we can continue that and the momentum from the last race in Bern to build on things.
“Bern was pretty strong, P2, but behind Rome in terms of season highlights[Evan’s first Formula E win]. There are a few others such as Saudi, starting off with a fourth place, but we have had a few tough races as well. There have been a few missed opportunities but it is the same story for everyone in the championship.”
Be sure to turn into the season finale to see if Evans, or one of the other seven championship contenders, takes the drivers’ title. It’s all to play for as we approach the final two rounds of this season’s Formula E championship.