Kiwi Formula E star Mitch Evans says that after several enjoyable seasons in Formula E, he no longer would consider a move to Formula 1.
Evans had long been talked about as New Zealand’s next Grand Prix race winner. He won the GP3 title in 2012 before claiming four wins across four seasons in GP2 – the final step on the route to F1.
Unfortunate results and inconsistent reliability of machinery seemingly stalled Evans rise to the top. Soon, the Kiwi was seeking an exit path.
It would be in 2016 when he signed a deal with Jaguar Racing that Evans rekindled his passion. Now four seasons into his Formula E career, Evans says he is content on his career, and that there is no offer from any other series that would entice his interest.
“I’m very happy with where I’m at – that’s something I want to make really clear, it’s not like I wake up or go to bed every night depressed that I’m not in F1,” Evans said in an interview with Inside Electric.
“That’s not the case at all because even if I got the F1 opportunity right now, I think I’d have to be very, very ballsy or take a massive risk to turn down an FE drive.
“So, I am very happy at the moment, really, really grateful for the opportunity to be in Formula E and I mean that, a lot.”
But despite Formula E soothing the pain of missing F1, Evans admits that having fallen agonisingly shy of a drive in the series will haunt him for the rest of his life.
“Yes, it would haunt me for the rest of my life just because it’s something that I’d worked so hard towards and I’d got very, very close.
“Up until that point, when I got to GP2, I’d basically won everything so yeah, you do all the hard yards and then the last little bit doesn’t really go your way for whatever reason; that hurts.
“A lot of the guys that are in F1, I’ve raced against and beaten, so I’m not talking bollocks, it’s true – getting close and not making it.
“I think people underestimate how difficult it is to come from my part of the world to any high-level motorsport championship.
“To come from New Zealand and do all the hard yards up against it and get that close, it does hurt and yeah, it will haunt me. And I was, for a few years, not in a happy place because of that but Formula E and racing for Jaguar has really changed my view on things.”
Evans said that there are plenty of drivers in F1, both past and present, who have seen no career progression since landing a spot in the championship.
It is that reason why he believes leaving Formula E, a championship designed to ensure there is a balance between costs and performance, would be an unwise decision.
“There’s a lot of drivers, and I’m not going to name them, that have been in F1 for a long time but not in the top seats.
“That’s demented, in a way, because it’s the pinnacle of the sport, it’s a world championship. That should be the most competitive championship in the world. Unfortunately, you can’t see those drivers go head to head fairly.
“That’s what Formula E is really cool for, because the regulations are designed to attract manufacturers, to have a bit of room for development and also market their product but also there are quite a few common parts, to keep it nice and even and control costs.
“So, it’s got a good balance at the moment and what that brings as well is cars that are different, but they’re also very similar in lots of ways, so it makes the gap between the best and worst team very small.
“Then as drivers, we’re all very similar. We’re all very much at a level so it comes down to who performs best on the day and who gets it right.”