Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans currently sits seventh in the drivers championship going into the New York ePrix double header, buoyed by a string of top 10 finishes, with a season peak of third place in Hong Kong after Daniel Abt was disqualified for a post-race technical infringement.
However, the elusive maiden podium remained just out of reach throughout the season for the Kiwi driver, something that Evans chalked down to unlucky circumstances that were out of his control.
“On and off track we are working hard. The guys are working extremely hard,” said Evans. “To be honest, we need a little bit of luck! You can obviously say ‘create your own luck’ but we’ve been quite unlucky in some races.
“It’s so competitive – it’s very hard to piece it all together when it counts. The one lap performance has been great and encouraging this year. Some of the races have been very good. But when we are ahead in track position, for some reason we have not been able to capitalize on that. It’s down to many reasons – there are so many variables in the championship.
“We are all working pretty hard because we are pretty hungry to get some silverware. Hopefully we can change that this weekend.”
At the last ePrix in Zurich, Evans’s chance of a victory were well within sight after starting from pole position. But those dreams were dashed due to a string of on track incidents.
“To be honest, it was a great day for us ticking [pole] off the list. It started off OK and it was looking pretty good. With the full course yellow really shuffled things up. At the time there was a bit of confusion with the pitlane and the different speeds. Five of us getting penalized was unusual and that destroyed the race for us. Frustrating because I wanted to have a strong result for the team so badly. It’s been a decent year but definitely missed opportunities. For that to slip away was very hard to accept.”
Looking ahead, Evans pointed the challenge for Season 5 as Formula E transitions to the second generation chassis. “It’s going to be a big step up with the whole package, which is a great thing for the whole championship,” said Evans. “The new car will be more physical, but technically it’s still going to be a very big challenge.
“You can really make a lot of mistakes with the current car, whereas the brake-by-wire [system] should mask that in a way. With the Gen 1 car, the battery and thermal demand on the car and the limitations bring that extra challenge.
“With the development moving forward with the battery, thermally it’s a lot better position. Those things are not going to be an issue and the brake-by-wire will make things more straight forward.”
One thing that Evans will miss with the transition is the mandatory car change pitstops that have been a staple for the first four seasons of the championship, necessitated by battery and range limitations.
“I am actually going to miss it I think! I believe it’s a cool thing,” mused Evans. “I know that the way it has to move forward is to eliminate that one car and I think that’s the right thing to do, but even though it has had a lot of criticism, it has also brought a unique thing to the championship with the car change.
“It’s going to be sad to see it go but times are moving forward. The package is moving forward, the [battery] technology is developing well. Now is the right time to move on from that solution. I think everyone is excited to see what the new car will bring.”
Images: ABB FormulaE
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