Welcome, to my final blog post of 2018. It has been a pretty good year with me being able to attend more race weekends then ever before, visit events as accredited media that I had previously only ever dreamed of, oh and there was the day where I travelled to and from Switzerland all within 12 hours. In this blog post, I will reminisce and reflect on my key motorsport highlights from the year and give an honest review of my experiences and any corny life lessons I might have learnt along the way. If you are patient, you can also read about a new project I will be tackling in 2019. It is something that has been in the works since the summer and I am so happy to be sharing it with you all now as we approach the new year and welcome new beginnings. Anyway, enough waffling – I have made myself a huge mug of tea and am ready to confess all from my year in motorsport.
Allan McNish is someone who knows motorsport like the back of his hand. An ex-Formula One driver, 2013 FIA World Endurance Champion, and three-time 24hs Le Mans winner, McNish is not only one of the most talented individuals in motorsport, he is also one of the most-liked and respected.
These days he can be found offering expert opinions and analysis for the WEC ‘Super Season’ as a broadcaster or in his newly-appointed role of Team Principal for the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Formula E Team. Having been linked with Audi Sport since 1999 and proving his worth as a truly fantastic ambassador for the German car manufacturer, it was no surprise that since announcing his retirement in 2013 he has stayed within the motorsport community in a more managerial role.
“I had a lot of success on the circuit but we [myself and Audi] also had success off it and so when I stopped racing, I knew I wanted to continue in the sport because it is my life and also because I knew that I wanted to continue with the people I had built my life with,” McNish states when I ask him about life after professional racing.
Formula E returns to the Parisian streets for a third consecutive year this weekend. This season, which started in December when the all-electric championship visited Hong Kong, now only has five races remaining in the battle to decide the victor of the season four drivers’ title.
Currently Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne looks to be the favourite, 18 points ahead of Sam Bird who is second in the standings, but recent races have left the former F1 driver craving more than just totalling up championship points. He wants wins, especially in front of his home crowd this weekend.
Sebastian Buemi, FIA Formula E’s season two drivers’ champion, has ruled himself out of being a front runner for this drivers’ title despite currently being fourth in the championship halfway through the season. The Renault e.Dams driver is 57 points behind that of championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne and after a DNF in the last round at Punta del Este, believes that he will remain an unlikely championship contender.
“To be honest, I am really far [behind] in the championship. I see myself more of an outsider fighting for wins from time to time. But of course if the world championship remains open that is amazing. But if not, I am not going to be sad. I am going to be pushing for one-off trying to do well and try to grab a win while I can.”
Having entered Formula E after a 12 year absence from motorsport, the excitement levels and expectations for Jaguar’s return were high. Joining the all-electric championship from season three onwards resulted in a disappointing first year but season four has seen their performance go from strength to strength. Currently fourth in the team standings half-way through the season, Jaguar have earned over three times as many points in their campaign this year as they managed all of last season.
Whilst at the Geneva International Motors Show last month, I met up with one of their drivers, Mitch Evans, to hear his thoughts on the season so far, what we can expect from the remaining six races this year and his views on the newly-unveiled Gen2 Formula E car.
As we approach the sixth round of the FIA Formula E Championship in Paris this weekend, it’s important to understand the layout of the 1.920m track and the twist and turns that brought us so much action here last year. Join me as I walk the race track that will be host to the championship here in the heart of Paris this weekend.
Mitch Evans is a cheeky Kiwi that at the age of just 22, is the youngest Formula E driver on the current grid. Driving for British team Panasonic Jaguar Racing, Evans has proved himself to be a huge talent behind the wheel of his all-electric Jaguar I-TYPE, scoring championship points in the past two consecutive races. Despite only competing in his and the team’s fifth Formula E ePrix over the weekend, the former GP2 race winner has made the transition into Formula E and it’s fair to say his performance is looking, well electric.