Mitch Evans believes he can be a championship contender in Formula E this season but admits he and the Jaguar team went through a “stormy period” earlier this year after a series of “missed opportunities”.
Speaking at the launch of new team’s 2018/19 car, Evans shared some of his own personal highs and lows from his second season racing in Formula E since joining the series from GP2.
“On a personal level, I’m very happy with how I performed last year,” said Evans.
“To get superpole multiple times, and obviously that first pole, was great, but there’s definitely a part of me that just feels we’ve missed opportunities.
“Some of the qualifying performances were great, some of the comebacks after having issues in qualifying were really great, but I’m not here and not driven to come back all the time, I want to be standing on the podium, leading from the front and making the race boring.”
Evans’ stock has risen considerably as a result of outscoring season one champion Piquet across their two seasons together, but the Kiwi still looks back on last season with some frustration after failing to secure the results he felt the team deserved.
“Zurich I was gutted. For me, that was probably the biggest kick between the legs of the whole year,” said Evans.
“I got pole, I felt like I was quick through all the practice sessions and I felt like I had a slight pace advantage. Throughout the whole race, I was just keeping in front of them, [but] I was not comfortable, and then obviously Lucas came through in the Audi and just blasts past everyone.
“I was like ‘hey, that’s fine I can accept that I just want to get a podium for the team’ but we’ve been through all these horrible races where we thought we should have had a podium, and we thought ‘today’s the day’, but for that not to happen with a penalty, it was way too hard to accept.
“Rome was tough, was really, really tough to accept, but I actually had some mechanical problems that hurt me in that race. That was easier to accept, but equally, deeply disappointing because I was almost leading the race, fighting for the lead then all of a sudden I was ninth. It’s never the way you want to finish a race.”
After rising from bottom in the teams’ championship in their first year to a respectable sixth last season, Evans believes the team are looking in good shape to improve again and could even become championship contenders this coming season.
“Hopefully, we’ve been through a bit of a stormy period and we can go into this new season refreshed, and with a few things that have been ironed out with the race pace, and be really strong contenders for the championship.
“The spirit in the team is great, and we all feel the pain, but hopefully, we’ll have a few more that will go our way this year.”
Image Credit: Jaguar Racing
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