Brits hail Kiwi Mitch Evans for 'saving Jaguar' in Formula E
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Taking on an emerging series with established performance powerhouses is a challenge and a half, especially when you're competing with aging equipment. It's a story all too familiar in the world of motorsport, with Jaguar's ambitious FIA Formula E campaign last season being a textbook example.
Yet, out of the ashes from a learning season for former A1GP driver Adam Carroll and New Zealand's Mitch Evans, comes a nugget of recognition from British-based racing publication Autosport. They have labelled Evans one of the best in the series (eighth in their list of the 10 best drivers from last season), and as a savior for the marque's return to car racing.
“Without Evans, the British manufacturer would have been cut adrift,” said Autosport.
“As a debutant with a poor technical package underneath him, Evans's efforts were mighty. He gelled with the FE car quickly after minimal testing and a tricky first couple of races to lead Jaguar's effort for the rest of the season.
“Evans qualified in the top 10 four times, smashed team-mate Adam Carroll in the points and defeated him 9-3 in the qualifying battle. The New Zealander saved Jaguar's disappointing first season back in major international motorsport from being a nightmare.”
Though he finished the season down in 14th place overall, Evans' results did take a couple of hits at critical events. For most of the season the former Toyota Racing Series champ sat on the cusp of the top 10 in points. His best result was a fourth place at the Mexican ePrix early in the season, while his teammate Carroll could only muster an eighth.
Curiously, series champion Lucas di Grassi wasn't gifted top ranking in the article. That instead went to Sebastien Buemi, who led most of the series and won most of the races in his Renault — only for all of it to implode at the series finale. Di Grassi instead was ranked third, behind Felix Rosenqvist and ahead of Sam Bird, former Formula 1 drivers Nick Heidfeld and Jean-Eric Vergne, Jose Maria Lopez, Evans, Robin Frigns, and Oliver Turvey.