Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Mitch Evans Left a ‘Little Disappointed’ after Missing Monaco Win Again

Winning at the Monaco E-Prix eluded Mitch Evans for the third consecutive season on Saturday, with the Kiwi having been forced to settle for second-place behind Nick Cassidy once again.

The Jaguar TCS Racing driver put in another exceptional display at the Circuit de Monaco, with the championship contender having looked quick right from the start of the day. He was the only driver in the top eight of the Drivers’ Championship to make the duels and ended up starting the race from sixth, giving him a great chance of another big result.

He quickly got himself amongst the leaders and actually found himself at the front briefly, before he was overtaken by Cassidy into Turn One. Unfortunately for Evans, he just didn’t quite have the time to make a move on Cassidy, with a last lap battle having been stripped from him due to a late Safety Car. The result means he’s finished second at the last two races in Monaco, whilst he finished third three years ago.

Given how special a Monaco win is for any driver, Evans was understandably “a little disappointed” to have come so close to the win yet again, only to fall short. Despite the mild disappointment, Evan’ second-place finish marked his third rostrum from the last four races, following his wins in São Paulo and Berlin. The Jaguar driver is certainly a real contender for the title now once again, with him having risen to fourth in the standings.

He sits twenty-seven points behind his fellow Kiwi who is the new leader of the championship, with Evans having been quick to give Cassidy “huge credit” for his second consecutive win.

“It’s been a solid day. Ultimately every race you turn up and you want to win so I am a little disappointed, particularly as it’s Monaco. However, if you look at the bigger picture, it’s a great haul of points and huge credit to Nick – he overtook me at the right time when I wasn’t expecting it.

“We still did a really great job and the whole team should be proud of themselves. There are still a lot of opportunities left this season and we’ll be giving it our all to keep moving forwards.”

“It got quite messy in the middle” – Sam Bird

Credit: Simon Galloway courtesy of FIA Formula E

The late Safety Car which robbed Evans of a last lap fight with Cassidy was actually due to the Jaguar driver’s team-mate Sam Bird, who collided with Nico Müller at the start of the penultimate lap.

It was a Monaco weekend to forget for Bird, who finished sixteenth following a post-race five-second time penalty, after being deemed at fault for the incident with Müller which forced the ABT CUPRA Formula E Team driver out of the race and out of the points. The Briton just didn’t look comfortable throughout the day, with his pace having been disappointing compared to Evans’.

Bird failed to make the qualifying duels and started the race from sixteenth, before actually enjoying a solid start to the race. He made up several places and was looking set for a points finish; however, his hopes were tarnished after missing the Attack Mode detection zone. This saw him lose several places for absolutely nothing, making his race that much more difficult.

He was towards the bottom of the points come the closing stages of the race, though, until he dived up the inside on Müller too late, resulting in the Swiss driver hitting the barrier. Bird crossed the finish line in tenth; however, his penalty pushed him to sixteenth. The unfortunate afternoon saw Bird’s slim title hopes effectively vanish, with the Brit now being fifty-nine points behind Cassidy.

Bird admitted after the race that it was a “hard day” at the office; however, he’s planning on putting the disappointing weekend “behind” him ahead of the Jakarta double-header next month.

“Today was a hard day. In the race I started to make good progress but it got quite messy in the middle and there were a couple of collisions. I missed the ATTACK MODE loops which meant I lost a place, without the benefits of the power. In the final couple of laps I had a further collision. I’ll put this behind me and look forward to Jakarta.”