Mitch Evans has said that the route to Formula One is brutal; lamenting on the missed opportunity that became so near a reality.
The kiwi, who goes into this weekend’s Formula E-Prix from Marrakesh as the championship leader, opened up to BBC Sport about the difficulties that ultimately prevented the GP2 and GP3 sensation from making the premier class.
“F1 is brutal – I’ve beaten a lot of the guys in the [F1] championship,” Evans told the BBC.
“It was tough. I worked so hard and got so close, but Formula E was starting to grow and Jaguar gave me a lifeline.”
Evans won the GP3 title in 2012 and claimed five victories over four seasons in GP2, a step below Formula One.
“I was so set on F1. It’s so hard, it’s many, many years in the making trying to get there and I came a long way from New Zealand – to not get there was extremely tough to take.
“I know I’m more than capable of being in F1, but it’s so political that timing is everything – it’s probably going to haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Evans signed a deal with the Jaguar Formula E team in 2016, all but curtailing his Formula 1 dreams in search of something more.
Since joining Jaguar Evans has become the team’s lead driver. Constantly delivering exceptional performances and has been rewarded with claiming the team’s only victories thus far.
His most recent victory in Mexico City was dubbed the series’ most dominant victories to date.
“But it doesn’t hurt as much as it does a few years ago because I’m in a really good place in my life now.
“I’m extremely competitive and I want to win for the team that has given me the opportunity, and that’s the best feeling. The next thing to top that is the championship.
“[Winning is] hard to explain because it’s just such an amazing, rewarding feeling. It gives you more hunger to keep it up and repeat it.”