Formula E | London E-Prix | Evans: “I just wanted to try and take the fight to tomorrow”

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After the first race of the double-header London E-Prix, Evans spoke on missing out on the championship to Jake Dennis.

Photo credit: Formula E Media Bank / Andrew Ferraro

Despite starting the season with troubles, Mitch Evans came close to the Championship Title once again this year. In the first five races of Season 9 he collected only 14 points, but then absolutely skyrocketed from Sao Paulo onwards. Winning four races across the calendar and standing on the podium on two other occasions, he’s only missed on points in two races since Brazil. Although he’s done everything in his power to challenge Dennis and his countryman Cassidy (whom he eventually overtook in the standings after Round 15), he’s had to surrender for 2nd place in the Championship.

When asked after the race about Round 15 and the general feeling after the Championship Title is over, Evans said: “I tried. Obviously, that Rome mistake hurts more now, but it’s over the course of the whole championship, it’s not just one race. I just wanted to try and take the fight to tomorrow. We’ve got a more realistic chance in the teams (championship), so it’s probably more of a priority than the drivers (championship) for today.

Obviously that grid penalty didn’t help, but I was able to be quite aggressive in the race at the start and make some moves. It cost me some energy, but at least I got some track position. Then I found myself in the lead, which I was not really expecting at first, but I took it and just wanted to play it smart for the rest of the race, where there was still a long way to go.”

He continued: “I was trying to recover my energy a little bit before that first red flag. I was able to, just the nature of the track, it was relatively okay to do that. Then there were the red flags a few stoppages. Apart from that it was all pretty good.

It’s probably the most nerve wracking part of the race towards the end, because it’s quite an awkward attack zone here, and a lot of people were missing their loops. So I just wanted to make sure I got that done, which we did. And then just obviously tried to run the laps down. So from my side, still chaos, but obviously got it done.

I just want to congratulate Jake on his World Championship. Between the three of us (Dennis and Cassidy) that came into this race possible of winning, where we all deserved it in different ways. But Jake’s been solid all year and full credit to him and his team. I would have liked to take it to tomorrow, but it was just not meant to be.”

Evans had a five place gird penalty from Rome that meant that although he qualified on pole for Round 15, he was down to 6th place on the grid on the start. Great performance from the beginning of the race seen him progress through the field, and soon enough he was in the Top 3. With Cassidy out of the race the stakes were high, and even though Evans still had to take an attack mode, he executed it perfectly and kept his P1.

When asked if he was aware about the absolute chaos behind him and the driver championship changes throughout the race, Evans responded: “Not until quite late in the race. I saw on the big screen Nick was out of the race. Then it was just a matter of seeing where Jake was and at one point I think he missed a few attacks, so I was hoping that would play into into my favor, which I think it did.

I was able to make some ground back with different things happening. At one point I thought we were on for tomorrow, but then it quickly changed. You do your job and you can’t really control anything behind you. The team said “he’s in 3rd, he’s got it” and there’s not much I could really do, unless you want to try and attempt something silly, which obviously is not really in my nature. There’s obviously still lots to play for in the Teams Championship.”

Jaguar TCS Racing and their customer team of Envision are currently tied on points in the Teams Championship, so it will be down to the wire tomorrow to decide who will be the winning team. Since Jaguar-Land Rover is obviously based in the UK, there has been lots of guests invited to the race to watch both of the teams fight for the trophy. When asked about the importance of winning the Teams title, Evans said: “We knew that was more of a realistic chance just because of the gap to the guys ahead. And obviously you’ve got two guys (in the team) trying to get those points. It’s going to be a tense battle tomorrow with these guys (Cassidy and Buemi). Both of them are really quick. Both Seb and Nick have been very, very fast this weekend.

Sam and I are going to have to be up on our game. Obviously, we also work very closely with each other (with the customer team). I think it’s just a testament to how Jaguar produced a really incredible powertrain and both teams are operating very well and highly with all four drivers.

It’ll be a good battle and hopefully we can obviously get it done. It will mean the world to my team. There’s some big dogs here from the (JLR) board and our CEOs. I’m sure they’ll be happy with that.”