Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans says missing out on victory in the Rome Formula E race was “like a slap in the face”.
Evans had gone a lap longer in his first stint than leader DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird, and was closing him down when a full course yellow came out and levelled the playing field between the two.
While also nursing powertrain issues, Evans was so tight on energy that he had to crawl around the last lap and just about scored ninth having been fighting for the win two laps prior, while Bird went on to take the win.
“At the time I thought it was a bit of a slap in the face, that race,” Evans said, speaking to Formula Spy in Zurich.
“Actually after we got back to the factory and we saw that in the last five laps of the race I had a big disadvantage, things were getting out of hand with the powertrain and getting very hot, I was losing a lot of straight line speed and efficiency which literally came when I got up to Sam and ultimately just chewed through the energy.
“I thought it was my fault to be honest, I thought I wasn’t composed in the situation. I thought I was at the time but it wasn’t enough and got a bit carried away. But the gearbox was in complete shambles afterwards and had to change it for the next race.”
Evans said that it was part of both his and Jaguar’s learning curve having not yet fought for a win in the series at that point.
“If you asked me straight after the race I would have said there’s a lot of things I need to work on, but to be honest I don’t think that so much now. You’ve just got the read that a bit better and seeing if it’s realistic and being smart about it.
“In this championship you’ve only got one or two opportunities and go and make it stick otherwise you can get into a lot of trouble with energy.
“Every scenario is different as well, so you should play it by ear but all those experiences really help and they all go into the data logger and for me that’s been a big help. Even though I was disappointed with the result there was a lot I could take away from it.”
Jaguar team principal James Barclay reckons the team has missed out on potential wins despite having a capable car:
“I think we’ve had a lot of the ingredients but you don’t know what you don’t know,” he said.
“The great example is Rome where yes we were fighting for a win. You learn from that and when we do fight for that position again we will have that in our armoury. That’s the experience you have to go through.
“Punta is another example of a very small issue that wasn’t really our fault as a team that put Mitch further back on the grid and he could have gone for the win that day.
“Would have, could have, should have doesn’t mean much, you have to deliver and as a team we are getting closer and closer to the front.”