Heartbreak for Bird but elation for Evans in mixed quali for Jaguar

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Heartbreak for Bird but elation for Evans in mixed quali for Jaguar

It was a mix of heartbreak and heroics for Jaguar TCS Racing after qualifying for the Greenko Hyderabad E-Prix.

Hyderabad Mitch Evans 2

After qualifying, there were two very different vibes in the Jaguar TCS Racing garage. Mitch Evans secured his first Julius Baer Pole Position of the GEN3 era. Meanwhile, teammate Sam Bird had his lap time deleted in the quarter-final of the Duels and didn't progress further. 

The Jaguar-powered cars have looked competitive during this inaugural Greenko Hyderabad E-Prix weekend. Envision Racing's Sebastien Buemi topped the timesheets during Friday's Free Practice 1, with Bird doing the same in FP2 before qualifying. 

Speaking about his first pole in this new generation of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Evans said: "The track seems to suit us and all the Jaguars.

"Full credit to the team for giving us the tools to be able to compete towards the front."

Evans faced DS PENSKE's Jean-Eric Vergne in the final Duel, with the Jaguar driver coming out on top by the tiniest of margins - just 0.021 seconds, which was the smallest winning margin to decide pole this season.

With several drivers getting caught out by track limits around the Hyderabad Street Circuit at the tricky Turn 1 & 2 chicane, Evans confessed that he was "on the limit [but] confident that I was fine." Replays showed he was millimetres away from falling foul but a tiny portion of his Hankooks were right on the white painted line, ensuring his lap remained, just about, valid.

"I think I was just on the line," the polesitter continued. "So I guess that's all you really need. It's a hard corner to get right, and obviously, we've seen some guys getting caught out, which is quite easily done. But after that, I just focused for the rest of the lap and just prayed that I made it in."

One of those drivers who got caught out belongs to the other side of the Jaguar garage: Sam Bird. 


This isn't the first time Bird has had lap times deleted for exceeding track limits this weekend, with the Brit having his quickest time of FP2 invalidated for the same offence. 

"I genuinely thought I was on the line," Bird stated after his Quarter-final run. "When I watched it back from that particular angle, it looks like I'm slightly over. You're driving such fine lines. I believe everybody was probably over at some point. 

"I think it's very, very harsh. I don't particularly agree with it - we asked for different solutions and this is the one that was chosen."

Bird will start the first ever Hyderabad E-Prix in sixth, with Evans on pole.