Mitch Evans and Nelson Piquet Jnr battled extreme temperatures of 37C in Santiago but brought both Jaguar I-TYPE 3s to the finish in the hottest ABB FIA Formula E race in history. The Santiago E-Prix overtook the 35 degrees reached in season two – and was the joint hottest day ever recorded in the Chilean capital.
The changing track conditions prevented Panasonic Jaguar Racing from a top six finish during qualifying and with it, a chance for Super Pole – Mitch qualified in 12th (1:09.235) and Nelson in 20th (1:09.705). They lined up on the grid in P11 and P19 respectively as Audi’s Lucas Di Grassi was demoted from pole position for a technical infringement.
Despite starting outside the top 10, both drivers made fantastic progress up the grid. The Kiwi driver gained five places and finished in P6 earning eight valuable points for Panasonic Jaguar Racing. His Brazilian teammate fought hard but finished just outside of the points in P11.
MITCH EVANS #20 PANASONIC JAGUAR RACING DRIVER
Overall it was a bit disappointing today. We had high hopes, but we seemed to struggle from FP1 – the pace wasn’t really there. To qualify 12th was the best I could do with changing track conditions. I raced well from there. Overall, I think it was a good recovery but I’m nowhere near satisfied with the result. I want to be on the podium. But I’m looking forward to Mexico, I like the track there.
NELSON PIQUET JR #3 PANASONIC JAGUAR RACING DRIVER
It was a tough weekend. We realise that not qualifying in the top 10 or in Super Pole makes the race very difficult. I think this one was even harder because you couldn’t overtake – the asphalt was destroyed – so in general it made the race even harder. We must focus on qualifying and finding speed in the car because efficiency doesn’t seem to be that much of an issue nowadays.
JAMES BARCLAY TEAM DIRECTOR, PANASONIC JAGUAR RACING
Unfortunately, we were compromised by our qualifying today which put us out of podium contention. With that in mind we thought we had to go aggressive with our approach in the race and we showed good progress – Mitch moving up to P6 and Nelson just out of points in P11. I think we probably made the most progress out of any teams on the grid, and from our point of view that is a positive – we have a good racecar. The break up of the circuit made it very hard to overtake in the spots you usually could, and it made it treacherous if you went offline to try to. That hindered our progress a little bit, but overall with the high temperatures we made great progress. We must get qualifying right. That’s our one area where we’ve probably compromised our results this weekend. That’s going to be our key focus now; putting that together with the race pace that we have, and I think we’re on for a positive result, we just need to execute our qualifying really effectively.