Mitch Evans will rue what could have been for ‘a long time’ after his agonizing crash in the Formula E season finale overnight.
A sublime qualifying performance put Evans in the best possible position to clinch the championship.
After landing a spot on the second row while the rest of his title rivals were mired in the lower reaches of the pack, Evans’ efforts were quickly squashed by a mechanical issue.
A high-voltage failure locked his Jaguar in place when the race got underway.
An unsighted Edoardo Mortara then shunted into the stranded Kiwi.
It hurt Evans – physically but more so mentally.
It is the second successive year Evans had entered the final round in an ideal championship position only to miss out on the ultimate goal.
“[The failure] came unfortunately at the worst possible time,” Evans told Autosport.
“I’m gutted for myself and the whole team. We did everything right this weekend. We were quick and put ourselves in a great position for the race.
“I’m just a bit shocked and speechless.
“It’s going to hurt for a long time.
“You just have to accept it and swallow it somehow, even though it’s painful.”
With Evans eliminated early in the race, Jaguar’s chances to claim the constructor’s championship fizzled.
The team still ended up second to Mercedes, which Evans says is a big step forward.
“I’m gutted for the whole team to not get a run at it today, but to be able to finish second in the teams’ championship is still huge progress.
“I want to thank everyone who has put in so much hard work this year.
“We’ll come back fighting again next year.”
Evans finished the year fourth in the driver’s standings, his best result of his Formula E career.
He also ended the season without a race win and a best race result of third, which he achieved five times.
Season Eight of Formula E is pencilled to start in Saudi Arabia in late January of 2022.