It was heartbreak for Mitch Evans at the second race of the London E-Prix, as after making his way from fourteenth to fourth, his car failed with only two minutes remaining. It’s put a severe dent in the New Zealander’s title hopes, as he slipped to thirty-six points behind Stoffel Vandoorne.
Evans put on a blistering display during the race, at a circuit that was supposedly impossible to overtake at. He was looking all but certain to finish in fourth-place, until he dramatically pulled-off the circuit with just a couple minutes remaining.
The Kiwi spoke to The Checkered Flag after the race, where he explained what happened with the car.
“Yeah, I mean it seems like well a few laps before I stopped, I had started having some strange behavior on the brakes and the car was yeah, I could tell that something was not right. We tried to dissect it quick and try and fix the problem fast but unfortunately, I thought I had with cured it. But then as soon as I thought we could just press on to the end of the race, the car shut down and I had to stop the car.
“Obviously the team will look into it, but it looks like an inverter failure, which is horrible.There’s still some positives. Obviously there’s some question marks. Like with our one that qualifying pace just wasn’t really there this weekend. I would say we’ve not been the strongest in qualifying the whole year, but we’ve been still really good.
“But just this weekend we just couldn’t quite make it work over a lap. But the race pace has been strong all year, especially over this weekend, making up a lot of ground around a track that should not be suited for it. So I’m proud of those efforts that all those races we were able to do. But unfortunately one today is not many so much, apart from a bit of pride and that’s it.”
Evans failed to make the Qualifying Duels on both Saturday and Sunday, meaning he had no choice but to fight his way through the field. Evans and TCS Jaguar Racing will “try to understand” what went wrong in London; however, they “can’t dwell” for long with the driver soon set to switch his attention to the Seoul E-Prix.
“There’s things that we need to try and understand and qualifying is one of them. Obviously we try, and like anything, we try and debrief trying to analyse good and bad things and then we try and obviously toward so and see what that track needs. It’s quite a tight turnaround. So we can’t dwell on this too much and we can’t focus too much on this race. But we all seem to learn from it.
“So we’re a great team with a lot of hard working people that will be crunching numbers over the next few days. Even tomorrow they’ll be in at work trying to figure out answers. And then probably from Wednesday, Thursday this week, we’ll start focusing on Seoul to try and maximise that weekend.”
Mathematically, Evans can still be World Champion; however, it will most likely only be possible if he can finish on the podium at both races in South Korea, with Vandoorne finishing outside the points. Whilst it looks a step too far, he’s refusing to “give up”.
“We got to keep hope. It’s very unlikely right now, but there’s still a lot of points I have to grab, unless Vandoorne has a complete shocker and I’ve been blinded and yes, things can look good. We should go approach nothing to lose. Yes.
“Just going to try and do our best. Whether I was one point behind or what I am now, we have to go with the approach to try to win the races. So yeah, I’m sure we’ll go there and be competitive. But nothing approach really changes. It’s just a bit on the distance unfortunately until it’s not possible we got to keep positive and keep our hopes alive and keep positive but right now sitting here it’s hard to as we work really hard for this. We won’t go down and give up until it’s not possible.”