11 Nov 19

Jaguar: Shouldering expectations and stepping up to the big time

Panasonic Jaguar Racing enjoyed a breakthrough campaign during 2018/19, securing their maiden win in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Mitch Evans was responsible for that historic victory in Rome and the Kiwi is joined by rookie James Calado for another season as the British manufacturer looks to finally establish itself at the top table of the all-electric series – but can the pair deliver sustained success?

Jaguar arrived in Formula E at the start of the 2016/17 season with great expectations, having made the decision to revive their iconic racing programme after a decade-long absence from motorsport. Things didn’t quite go to plan for the British manufacturer as a tough debut campaign saw them finish at the back of the pack, but there was steady improvement in 2017/18 with a maiden podium for Mitch Evans in Hong Kong. The New Zealand ace comfortably outperformed ex-Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr. throughout the year and continued to drive Jaguar forward last season, claiming the marque’s first ever win at the Rome E-Prix. Evans even had an outside shot at the title heading into the final weekend thanks to his impressive consistency, and Jaguar will hope for more of the same this time around.

mitch evans wins in the Rome e-prix

The historic marque are no longer newcomers to Formula E and need to start regularly competing for race wins. Piquet was axed midway through 2018/19 after failing to meet the required standards and the British outfit must show the same ruthlessness in pursuit of results if it's to be considered among the Formula E elite.

The pressure is on to bridge the gap, and in Evans they undoubtedly have one of the best drivers on the grid to do just that. The 25-year-old is a former champion in the Toyota Racing Series and GP3 while he also picked up wins in GP2 but failed to secure the title. It has been in Formula E where the Kiwi has really come alive, shouldering responsibility for Jaguar’s development while securing the team’s maiden podium finish and first-ever victory. Evans is lightning-quick and a popular figure in the paddock but possesses a hard edge to his driving which will be vital as Jaguar look to muscle their way in among the established order.

James Calado joins the team as an electric racing rookie with an excellent reputation, possessing valuable experience from Formula One testing while gathering race wins in various single-seater series all the way up the motorsport ladder. The 30-year-old most recently turned his talents to sportscar racing, winning the FIA World Endurance Championship – LMGTE Pro, the Asian Le Mans Series – GT and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMGTE Pro class. But can Calado cope with the pressure of performing for one of the most iconic brands in the world who now demand instant success?

Panasonic Jaguar Racing team logo

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