Mitch Evans faced a mix Saturday at the London E-Prix, where the New Zealander recovered well from a difficult qualifying. The TCS Jaguar Racing driver failed to make it into the duels, resulting in a fourteenth-place start.
Despite virtually all the drivers’ explaining how it would be impossible to overtake at the ExCeL Centre, Evans pulled off eight moves. The Jaguar driver managed to recover a sixth-place finish, moving him to second in the Drivers’ Championship.
However, he slipped further behind championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished second behind Jake Dennis. Evans clearly had strong pace in London, but was unable to utilise it all after making a mistake in qualifying.
Evans blames his mistake for having to come through the field, but is determined to “bounce back” in the second race on Sunday.
“After my mistake in qualifying we were on the backfoot, starting from P14, but we finished a solid P6 with eight points. It was a really hard race, very physical, and hard to manage because of the kind of track we have here in London. We managed to make a lot of overtakes, the Jaguar I-TYPE 5 felt really good and has a lot of pace, so hopefully we can have a good day tomorrow. We’ll bounce back, have a strong quali and start towards the front to have a good result.”
“There’s not much to say” – Sam Bird
It was yet more bad luck for Sam Bird, who was forced into retirement on the opening lap of his home race. The Brit was hit at Turn Two by Edoardo Mortara, who was sandwiched between Bird and Jean-Éric Vergne.
Bird retired on-track, but was able to get his car off the circuit in order for a Safety Car to not be needed. Bird, like his team-mate, also qualified poorly.
The British driver had “not much to say” after the race, where he explained that himself and the team need to “knuckle down”.
There’s not much to say today. I took the inside line but was squeezed into the wall in the opening lap of the race. We need to knuckle down and find a bit more qualifying speed. We look forward to racing again tomorrow at this impressive track.”