18 Sep 20
03 Mar 20
The 2020 Marrakesh E-Prix was a true test for Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans. After a sensational drive, which saw him fight through the field to score vital points when a Qualifying mishap relegated him to the back of the grid, the Kiwi driver is still confident he can 'fight for the championship.'
Just weeks after landing a front row start in Mexico City and a Pole in Santiago, Mitch Evans was once again looking strong to continue his fine Qualifying form in Marrakesh. Getting off to a solid start, the Kiwi driver clocked the fastest time in Practice Two, suggesting Marrakesh would be another demonstration of his qualifying prowess in the I-Type 4.
With Qualifying underway, Evans prepared to set a flying lap around the Circuit Moulay El Hassan, before a disastrous miscalculation by the team resulted in the championship hopeful being released from the garage too late, with the lights turning red as he crossed the line to start his flying lap. After failing to set a time, the Jaguar frontman was relegated to the back of the grid, dashing any hopes of a points finish in the Red City. Despite the setback, Evans scythed through the field during the 45-minute race, miraculously crossing the line in sixth, keeping his championship hopes alive in the process.
"I knew points were possible as we have a mega package and we can really fight for the championship," said Evans moments after the race, highlighting that he and the Jaguar outfit are still a combination to be feared. "I wanted to make it clear that we are proper contenders [for the Formula E title]."
A confident Evans continued: "My message to everyone is that even though these things happen we can fight back and score some good points. I enjoyed that race even though I know we shouldn't have been starting there.
"It was damage limitation and hopefully from here on in we can tidy up on things so we don't make our lives difficult in the future."
Surprised by the sheer number of places that he managed to battle through, the Kiwi reiterated the unforgiving and unpredictable nature of the all-electric championship. "I was expecting to make my way through, but how many places you just don't know.
"You don't know how competitive the other drivers are going to be and you don't know what's going to happen in terms of accidents on the first lap.
"Considering there was no Safety Car and also no real retirements, I made up 18 places but, in terms of genuine overtakes, there were about 16 of them - I can't remember them all but I enjoyed each one of them, it's a lot of moves to make in a race.
"We had an aggressive strategy at the start of the race and it paid off towards the end, it was not easy to execute at the start but we had massive benefits at the end of the race, which is what we saw."
After finishing the race in sixth and scoring the Fastest Lap bonus point, Evans left Marrakesh with the championship title still in sight. Now, the Jaguar frontman and former championship leader drops down to second in the standings, just nine points behind new series leader Antonio Felix da Costa (DS Techeetah)
With the Rome E-Prix the next stop on the calendar, Evans returns to the spot of his momentous and hard-earned first victory in Formula E. With his season so far, the Kiwi is confident he can still challenge for the win.
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