Mitch Evans has enjoyed a successful season so far and lies sixth in the championship at the halfway mark, but rues “missed opportunities” as he looks to return to the podium.
Evans claimed his maiden Formula E podium at the second race in Hong Kong and put in impressive displays elsewhere, such as Punta del Este where he rose from a lowly P16 on the grid to finishing 1.5s away from third place.
With the pace of Panasonic Jaguar Racing shown in both qualifying and race trim, the Kiwi is pleased with the progress of the team but hopes for more consistency heading into the second half of the season.
“I think we can be satisfied, but we’ve missed a lot of opportunities as well,” said the 23-year-old. “It could also be worse, we can be happy with our points as a team and at every race we have scored points, but on a personal level we’ve missed a lot of opportunities, mainly from qualifying. Not in terms of speed, but we’ve had a few issues in qualifying and starting out of position makes it hard to make the ground up.
“The last few races I’ve been able to make good recoveries but ideally we should have got a few podiums and potential wins, I could have won the last race if I was in the original starting position. That’s how it rolls, but we’ve had a decent start and we can be satisfied, but it also could be better.”
With a multitude of issues in qualifying hampering the team and causing grid drops, Evans believes the Jaguar squad has learnt a lot from the opening rounds and hopes to put any improvements into effect in the remaining races.
“We can take a lot [from the opening races], the great thing is that the car is performing well and the performance is there. Hopefully, operationally those errors that we’ve had, especially in qualifying, are now in the past and we can really start to be consistently in the top five in every qualifying and then challenge the front at the start of the race.
“Obviously this is never guaranteed, it’s so competitive and qualifying can go any way. You can be top five or P15, it’s so competitive, but I hope we have good pace and I put a good lap together to get into Super Pole and from there battling for the podium. That’s our goal and a goal that should be realistic.”
Looking ahead to race day in Rome, Evans is anticipating a challenge with the nature of the track, especially in the tight and twisty sector three.
“It’s mega challenging! It looks awesome and the sim day went well, I got into the circuit pretty quickly but it’s not easy to piece it together. It’s a long lap with a lot of corners, but a lot of difference between the corners, there’s a lot of elevation changes in the first sector and the last sector is like Hong Kong in that it’s so tight and technical, so it’s gonna be super tricky.
“Hopefully good racing as well, it looks like there’s a lot of opportunities to pass, so I think it’s going to be a good race. If everything goes smoothly, I’ll be disappointed if we’re not on the podium.”