The fifith season of ABB FIA Formula E got off to an electric start today in Saudi Arabia with a double points finish for Panasonic Jaguar Racing. The race saw the debut of the new Generation 2 Jaguar I-TYPE 3 a faster all-electric racecar with greater efficiency and range.
Kiwi Mitch Evans battled inclement weather, a challenging track and bad luck in qualifying to finish fourth, narrowily missing out on a podium position. His Brazilian team mate Nelson Piqet Jr. fought for a valuable point to finish tenth.
The new Ad Diriyah track provided a tricky challenge for all 22 Formula E drivers. An unseasonal rain shower disrupted the free practice sessions which placed further importance on qualifying. Both Jaguar drivers were adversely penalised by Felix Rosenqvist’s crash and were unable to complete flat out 250kW qualifying laps. Despite this Mitch Evans, with the aid of the new Attack Mode power boost, was able to make up four places from eighth place on the grid.
JAMES BARCLAY TEAM DIRECTOR, PANASONIC JAGUAR RACING
A good start to the season after a compromised qualifying for both drivers. Mitch drove a smart race and showed the speed and efficiency of the Jaguar I-TYPE 3. Fourth place today for Mitch after starting eighth shows we had a competitive package and executed a good race strategy. Its shame that we were disadvantaged as a team after the red flag error in qualifying but I think we recovered well as a team and should take the positives of turning our fortunes around with a solid points finish. Our focus now shifts towards getting onto the podium in Marrakesh.
MITCH EVANS #20, PANASONIC JAGUAR RACING DRIVER
A busy race after limited time on track but it was good fun. It is a shame not to give the team the podium they deserved but we were hampered by some bad luck in qualifying, which is so key in Formula E. I enjoyed using the Attack Mode and it brings a unique element to the race. I’ll now work with the team in the simulator ahead of Marrakesh to build on this result. It is cool to see my brother Simon win the first Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race. Hopefully he can continue like that for the rest of the championship
NELSON PIQUET JR #3, PANASONIC JAGUAR RACING DRIVER
I didn’t get a full power lap in qualifying so could only line up in P13. Getting a point is better than nothing but I felt we could have done better. We have learned more about the Jaguar I-TYPE 3 today which we will put to good use in Marrakesh.