Team mistake costs Mitch Evans shot at top-10 finish

A costly pit stop delay cost Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans a shot at another top-10 at the FIA Formula 3 Championship Berlin E-Prix.


The Kiwi was contending for a strong result midway through the race, until a mistake by his team dropped the 22-year-old out of contention.


“It was a mixed day for me in Berlin,” Evans said.


“I struggled to find the right set up in practice this morning, having not had as much running as I would have liked yesterday.


“I was pleased to set a strong qualifying lap when it counted. I put my Jaguar I-TYPE in P9 and in contention for a fifth consecutive points scoring finish.”


The challenge ending error came when the team forgot to put the car in gear for Evans when he jumped out of his first car and into the second. He’d been hovering around the back end of the top-10 at the time.


“When I pitted for the car swaps, my second car was in neutral and this delayed my exit, so I re-joined behind Adam.


“We pushed for the maximum from there and gained another position. We’re going to work hard for more points in New York and I can’t wait to go racing in Brooklyn.”


Jaguar Racing team director James Barclay said the team will need to iron out those mistakes moving forward.


 “This was a challenging day for Jaguar but there were several positives for the team,” Barclay said.


“We were happy with how we unlocked our qualifying pace. Mitch put together a great lap and recorded our smallest gap to pole position. We were also competitive on energy management and pace, despite such a long race.”


“Unfortunately, Mitch lost out on potential points today as his second car had a delay in gear selection in the pit stop.


“As a new team, this race was a new challenge and to bring a further point and our first VISA Fastest Lap Award home with us is encouraging. We will fly back to the UK tomorrow and get straight to work to prepare for the New York ePrix next month."


The poor showing in race two compounded what had already been a tough weekend. After sustaining damage in race one, the Kiwi went about setting qualifying lap pace around the street circuit to get the fastest lap award and valuable points for the team.


This season is the first for Panasonic Jaguar Racing. Late last year they announced Evans and Adam Carrol as their main drivers.


It has so far been a tough gig for the British based team, however, their performances continue to surprise some in the paddock given their status as newcomers. 


Photo: Jaguar Racing