Friday, July 19, 2024

Mitch Evans Leaves Berlin With ‘An Incredible Feeling’

Mitch Evans has thrown himself right into title contention after a seriously impressive performance at the Berlin E-Prix double-header, with the Kiwi having claimed victory in the first race.

His win on Saturday at the Tempelhof Airport Circuit was his second consecutive win, after also being victorious in Brazil. Qualifying for race one was actually far from ideal for the Jaguar TCS Racing driver, after he failed to make the duels. Despite this, it was clear during the race that he boasted strong pace, which helped him work his way through the field from ninth to first.

Evans kept it clean and timed every move perfectly, with it having been an action-packed race with one-hundred and ninety overtakes. He was stoked to win in Berlin and labelled his back-to-back wins as “an incredible feeling”, with him having also recognised that he’s definitely “back in the hunt” after recovering from a bad start to the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“It’s an incredible feeling to get back-to-back wins, particularly in Formula E where it’s so challenging,” Evans said after winning on Saturday. “I needed a couple of good races and this is exactly what the team delivered today in Berlin. There is still a long way to go this season but the main thing is we’re back in the hunt. Both Sam and I are up there in the fight and we need to keep building on what we’ve achieved so far.”

Sunday was a tougher day for Evans but still incredibly positive, with the New Zealander having just missed out on the podium. He did make it into the duels in what was the first wet qualifying of the season, only to be eliminated in the Quarter-Finals. He was the fastest loser, though, which saw him start from fifth. He again remained amongst the leaders the entire race, only to narrowly miss out on a podium after finishing fourth.

It was nevertheless an exceptional weekend for Evans, with him now being just twenty-four points off the championship lead, compared to the forty-seven points he was behind by ahead of Berlin.

“Overall it’s been a really great weekend but I do feel like we missed out on a podium today,” Evans said after the second race. “The Jaguar I-TYPE 6 has the pace and efficiency but I didn’t get to the front of the pack when I needed to. I’ve collected more points for my championship campaign and I’m looking forward to my home race in Monaco.”

“I’m really proud of everyone” – Sam Bird

Credit: Simon Galloway courtesy of FIA Formula E

On the other side of the Jaguar garage, Sam Bird endured an incredibly mixed and somewhat unfortunate weekend, after suffering a disastrous second race in Berlin. The Briton enjoyed an excellent Saturday in the German capital after making it into the Final of the duels, where he was beaten by Sébastian Buemi.

This didn’t have any effect really on the race itself, with nobody having wanted to lead due to the amount of energy it used up, similar to São Paulo. Bird did well, though, to always remain amongst the leaders, before himself and Evans tried to escape by working together in the closing laps. The strategy worked perfectly, with Bird having finished second to claim Jaguar’s first ever 1-2 in Formula E.

“We’ve made history again today,” Bird said on Saturday. “It’s the best result Jaguar TCS Racing have ever achieved and it’s huge credit to all of the amazing people that work in this team. I feel like we’ve been working towards this for a while now but to get back-to-back double podiums feels incredible. We have a competitive package and it was very well executed by the team. We hope to fight for more points and podiums again tomorrow.

As mentioned, Sunday was much tougher for the Briton. Bird failed to make the duels in qualifying and could only manage eleventh on the grid; however, with the race having been dry, he was able to get amongst the top-eight in the opening laps. He was unable to make significant progress, though, after the British driver was hit from behind, which pushed Bird into the back of the car in front.

As a result, Bird was forced to pit for a new front wing, meaning he was all alone when he emerged from the pits in nineteenth, where he finished the race. It was certainly a disaster for Bird given how strong he was on Saturday, with the Briton having slipped to seventh in the Drivers’ Championship. His disappointing Sunday meant he could only close four points closer to Pascal Wehrlein in the standings, with him now sitting thirty-eight points behind at the halfway point in the season.

“Today wasn’t my day,” Bird admitted on Sunday. “Unfortunately someone went into the back of my Jaguar I-TYPE 6 which forced me into the car in front and it damaged my front wing. It’s disappointing as it’s not a mistake that I or the team made but it was out of our hands. Overall, we’ve had a great weekend as a team and I’m really proud of everyone. I’m looking forward to fighting for more points in Monaco.”