After a season of uncertainty having joined a new team, Mitch Evans will stay on for a second season with Panasonic Jaguar Racing as he looks to build on his rookie year and help push the team further up the grid.
The Kiwi acquitted himself well in season three, putting in a number of eye-catching qualifying performances and scoring a best result of fourth place at the Mexico City ePrix en route to 14th in the standings, enough for Jaguar to sign him for a second season and give him early testing time.
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Having taken the experiences from his rookie year, Evans looks to learn from the difficulties of his and the team’s early struggles and was glad to have done enough to earn a second term with the British car giant.
“The pressure probably started from round one, to be honest because the first few races were so difficult for us,” explained Evans. “Obviously we knew were were compromised with the power train but no one really knew how bad it was. In Marrakesh especially it was painful and then over Christmas I did feel the pressure a bit, it wasn’t a great situation because of obviously the way the performance was and that the results were what they were.
“Obviously with the return to the sport with Jaguar that wasn’t ideal but then we stepped it up in Buenos Aires with a good qualifying and then from there, Mexico we had the best result of the year for myself and the team so from this side it was looking a lot better and then had a few other good qualifyings and then proved that…well obviously I was just trying to secure myself for another year and at times it was unsure of how it was gonna play out for both me and Adam [Carroll] and after Montreal I got the thumbs up and that was a big thing for me because I knew that I’d had one opportunity to deliver in the championship and obviously we all know that the championship’s gonna grow quite rapidly – well it already is, obviously – but in the next few years and I wanted to really be part of it.
“So I’m really, really happy to be back into the championship and especially with the team. I feel at home here and I’m looking forward to tackling a new season but with a more competitive powertrain.”
Looking forward to season four, the 23-year-old is feeling positive on the potential of the new powertrain and believes the team has made progress in developing the car with the aim of becoming more competitive.
“There’s been a decent step forward with the powertrain but we don’t know what everyone else is doing and we’re not just saying that, it’s just the way it is.
“We can tweak it to Hong Kong, some teams have got a whole new powertrain, some are evolving from what they already had and we’re already lagging from them a lot and they’re gonna make improvements so we’ve got to obviously double gain or jump to be on par with them so we’re not underestimating we’re gonna be massively competitive but I think realistically we want to be consistently in the points but obviously we don’t know until it comes to Hong Kong but I really wanna be battling at the front consistently instead of just getting in the points and that means like a good result and a win basically. I wanna be right in there and fighting with the guys at the top.”
Evans will also have a new team-mate for season four following the signing of season one champion Nelson Piquet Jr to the team, who Evans believes will be an excellent fit at Jaguar given his experience and championship winning credentials.
“I think it’s great, not just for me but for the team. Y’know, obviously being the champion in season one is great and also being in the championship since season one is good to have his experience from the start.
“As a brand new team for us last season and two rookies it wasn’t easy to keep evolving throughout the season and we did manage to do that but now with a driver with plenty of experience in Formula E hopefully that rate of development will be even faster. At the moment it’s only been a few weeks but it’s already been a positive feeling within the team.”