Jaguar Racing returned to the podium at the opening race of season seven of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. New Zealander, Mitch Evans secured a third place finish after qualifying sixth having made it through to Super Pole. Mitch demonstrated the pace and efficiency of the new Jaguar I-TYPE 5 with some decisive overtakes over his rivals.
The Kiwi had a great start to the race, moving from sixth to fifth off the line. He moved into fourth position after Eduardo Mortara took ATTACK MODE and managed to hold onto the position by overtaking Pascal Werhlein. With two minutes to go before the end of the race, Evans made a decisive overtake on Rene Rast to secure a solid third and 15 points for the British team.
After qualifying eighth, Sam had a great start to the race and was showing very strong pace. With 25 minutes left of the race Bird had a collision with Mahindra’s Alex Lynn which resulted in the Jaguar I-TYPE 5 needing to pit. Bird returned to track in P23 before the team decided to retire the racecar ahead of round 2.
James Barclay, Team Director, Jaguar Racing: “Fantastic to start the year with a podium for all the team at Jaguar Racing - a great podium for Mitch in third. He drove a really strong race in the first day and the team delivered a fantastic strategy to get him onto the podium. The car looked really fast in race trim which is really exciting as it shows the potential is there. Mitch delivered an extremely polished performance with some fantastic over-taking moves. He took his opportunities and he made the moves stick. I’m really proud of all the hard work the team have put in and to come away with a podium in the first race shows that we’ve got a really competitive racecar in the Jaguar I-TYPE 5. We’re disappointed with how the race ended for Sam - he was looking really strong, made some great overtakes and was moving into a very good position to attack the end of the race.”
Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing driver, #20: “A great start to our world championship campaign. I got a position at the start which was great. The long safety cars made it a little nervewracking as I had to save my ATTACK MODEs until the end of the race. It was a shame as I hoped we could have a double points finish for Jaguar Racing. Overall it was a great result for the team, I’m very proud and we really deserve a result like this. They’ve worked so hard and we’re looking forward to tomorrow. Racing under the lights for the first time was also amazing, it felt great from the cockpit with the halo illuminated and I really hope the fans at home enjoyed it too.”
Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing driver, #10: “The first half of the race was going really well, I was saving a lot of energy and making my way up through the pack with some decent moves. I’m gutted that the first race of the season ended like this but we look at the negatives, take them and try and improve them. It’s amazing that Mitch secured a podium on the first day of the race, it’s great for the team and we know that the Jaguar is fast. There are still a lot of positives to take away from this race.”