Mitch Evans is quietly confident he has the performance and the support to clinch a deserving maiden Formula E championship ahead of the start of a nine-day showdown commencing on Thursday at the Berlin Tempelhof Airport.
While consistency has proven to be the most prominent prerequisite for championship success – only twice in six seasons has the eventual champion claimed the most race wins across the campaign – Evans has been met with rather turbulent fortunes in Berlin, only finishing inside the top-10 once with a best finish of sixth in 2018.
The all-electric formula has also had to wait out a lengthy six-month hiatus between drinks with the global pandemic seeing the series suspended following the Marrakesh E-Prix back in February with drivers no doubt set to be a little rusty once action resumes.
However, Evans has had tremendous success across the 2019/20 season, sitting second in the championship with a dominant victory at Mexico and superb qualifying performance in Chile. Now the 26-year-old Aucklander admits he is in a prime position to usurp provisional leader Antonio Felix da Costa for the points lead and snare a maiden series crown.
“This season we’ve tasted success and I am really proud of my performance, particularly in the last three races,” Evans said.
“We achieved Super Pole and a Podium in Santiago, we won in Mexico City and we made history in Marrakesh by gaining 18 places and finishing P6 after starting from the back of the grid.
“Being second in the drivers’ championship puts me in a good position heading into Berlin but I know I can’t underestimate the challenge that we have ahead. Our Jaguar I-TYPE 4 is incredibly quick so I’m hoping to show the everyone that we can be in the fight by 13 August.”
Evans could also have two different teammates partnering his services in the German capital with regular Jaguar pilot James Calado set to miss the final two rounds of the series due to his FIA World Endurance Championship commitments.
Touted to fill the vacant seat is eight-time New Zealand karting champion Tom Blomqvist. The Kiwi-domiciled Anglo Swede contested six FE races for Andretti in 2017/18 and was recently confirmed as Jaguar’s reserve driver for the event after the team’s former back-up driver Alex Lynn was drafted into the Mahindra squad to replacing the outgoing Pascal Wehrlein.
An official word on Blomqvist’s return to Formula E is expected to be made over the coming days with the team solely focused on ensuing their title assault gets off to the perfect start.
“We’re going into the final six races in Berlin in a great position,” added Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team Director James Barclay.
“We are looking forward to it and feeling positive that we are ready to give it our all to fight for the drivers’ title with Mitch and achieve our best result to date in the team standings.
“It’s [the championship] is ultimately within reach so we will be doing our all to achieve our goals together.”
The opening two rounds of the season finale showdown will be held on the reverse track configuration of the Berlin circuit, with both races slated for 4 am NZT on August 6-7.
From there the championship will have a pair of races on the normal anti-clockwise layout on August 9-10 before the circuit is once again altered into an entirely new complex ahead of the final duels on August 13-14.