Sunday, May 19, 2024

Jaguar’s James Barclay ‘Proud’ Despite Coming ‘So Close’ to Monaco Glory

Jaguar TCS Racing Team Principal James Barclay was “very pleased” with Mitch Evans‘ podium at the Monaco E-Prix on Saturday, with the New Zealander having finished second at the Circuit de Monaco for the second season in a row.

It was another exceptional day for Evans, who showed strong pace from the very start of the meeting. The Kiwi was the only driver in the top eight of the Drivers’ Championship to make the duels ahead of the race, with him having secured sixth on the grid. This put him in a prime position to get amongst the leaders early on, something he did with ease.

Evans actually found himself in the lead of the race briefly, before being overtaken by fellow Kiwi Nick Cassidy mid-race, following a surprise move at the first corner. The Jaguar driver gave it his absolute all to find a way past Cassidy; however, there was simply no way to overtake the Envision Racing driver. Evans’ pursuit of a famous Monaco win weren’t helped by team-mate Sam Bird, who hit Nico Müller on the penultimate lap at Sainte Devote, resulting in a Safety Car finish.

Bird had a miserable afternoon and ended up finishing sixteenth, after being awarded a five-second time penalty for being deemed at fault for the collision with Müller. His race wasn’t helped by him missing the Attack Mode detection point during the race, meaning he lost substantial ground.

At least Evans was on hand to score the Coventry-based team some crucial points, keeping them third in the Constructors’ Championship. Barclay was delighted with the team’s fifth podium from the last four races; however, even he noted that they came “so close” to the most famous win in motorsport.

“A runner-up podium in Monaco is something to be very pleased about and we were so close to that win. After a really intense race, I’m proud for all of the team to be able to step on the podium for the third year in a row here in Monaco. We’ve scored more really strong points, a great result and a fantastic drive from Mitch and the team. It was a testing race from start to finish but the team executed a solid energy management strategy.

“Unfortunately, the second to last safety car cost us the chance to fight for the win. Sam made great progress but unfortunately missed his last ATTACK MODE which dropped him back into the pack behind and then had the racing incident at the end of the race. Overall I’m proud of the team for continuing to deliver great performance and points, there is a long way to go in the season and we now look forward to the double-header in Jakarta.”