Monday, Apr 15 11:36am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Jaguar I-TYPE 3 back in “sweet spot” says Mitch Evans

Mitch Evans became the seventh different race winner from seven races in this year’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship.


The Rome E-Prix in Italy marked a significant moment in Evans’ career with his first win in the championship and a big surge forward in the standings.


Evans is the only drivers this season to finish every race thus far in the points, which means he now sits fourth overall in the standings and just four points in arrears of series leader Jérôme d'Ambrosio.


More importantly, the seventh round signalled a return to form for the Jaguar I-TYPE 3; the team’s third generation car.


Evans began the season off strong with fourth place at the Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia. It all looked very promising for the team who’d ended the 2017–’18 season in the top 10. To start the 2018–’19 season with a top five was even better.


From there though Evans and Jaguar faded. Nelson Piquet Jr. twice finished outside of the top 10 before a string of three retirements that ultimately led to the Brazilian leaving the team. Meanwhile, Evans was racking up finishes inside the points, but nothing really of note.


The Rome E-Prix is the first race this year on the European leg of the championship, a period where Evans has traditionally done well. And so far, it’s been the perfect start.


“The last few races have been tough for us so we’ve worked quite hard to get the car back into it’s sweet spot, which I had in Saudi Arabia and Marrakesh,” Evans said of his I-TYPE 3.


“It seems like we’ve got it back, so if we can maintain that for the rest of the season there’s plenty of points up for grabs still.”


With the Paris E-Prix in only two weeks’ time, Evans said he’s hopeful they can replicate their success from Rome and possibly become the first repeat race winners this year and be title hopefuls.


“Obviously we hope it’s not a one-off but I’ve got full faith in the guys. The car was consistent all day. We’re going to tracks that we’ve historically been not too bad at and that I also enjoy.


“The championship is so tight, it’s so competitive, you can never be too confident or too sure. We’ll take it race by race. For now we’ll enjoy the moment, but definitely, if we can keep this performance up there’s no reason why we can’t be a championship contender.”


Evans wouldn’t be drawn specifically on what changes were made to the Jaguar since the beginning of the season but said that some worked and some hadn’t. However, now he feels the car is back in the sweet spot.


“We’ve been chasing it since Marrakesh and I’d say this is the first round where I’d say we’ve felt comfortable in the car,” he said.


“That’s been extremely important. These cars aren’t easy to drive so you need some confidence and predictability in the car to know what it does and know what it’s going to do under braking, especially in qualifying where you get one lap.


“A few things have changed. It’s been a lot of work since Sanya, but a lot of work over the whole course of the season.”


Six races remain in the season with trips to Paris, Monaco, Berlin, Bern an the double header at New York still to come.


ABB FIA Formula E Championship Standings (Round 7 of 13)


Pos   Driver Points
1 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio 65
2 Portugal António Félix da Costa   64
3 Germany André Lotterer 62
4 New Zealand Mitch Evans 61
5 Brazil Lucas di Grassi 58
6 Netherlands Robin Frijns 55
7 France Jean-Éric Vergne 54
8 United Kingdom Sam Bird 54
9 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara 52
10 Germany Daniel Abt 44
11 Germany Pascal Wehrlein 37
12 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland 35
13 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi 30
14 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne 18
15 United Kingdom Alexander Sims 18
16 Brazil Felipe Massa 15
17 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey 6
18 United Kingdom Gary Paffett 4
19 Argentina José María López 2
20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. 1
21 France Tom Dillmann 0
22 Germany Maximilian Günther 0
23 United Kingdom Alex Lynn 0
24 Brazil Felipe Nasr 0
25 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist 0