Despite closing out his greatest Formula E season to date, Jaguar TCS Racing driver Mitch Evans' valiant shot at the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship title resulted in him coming in runner-up in the Season 8 finale in Seoul. Up against the ruthless consistency of Stoffel Vandoorne and his dominant Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02, the Kiwi took the title fight to the bitter end, closing out his Gen2 Formula E career with 'no regrets.'
When Mitch Evans failed to finish the 2016 Hong Kong E-Prix - his debut race in Formula E - few would have expected the Kiwi driver to have been jostling for the top spot in the championship a few years later. With both Evans and Jaguar cutting their teeth in Formula E's Gen1 era, it wasn't until the Gen2 era came about in 2018 that something seemed to click for the British racing outfit and its frontman Evans.
Since then, Evans has edged closer to the title, with a fifth place finish in Season 5, fourth in Season 7 and second in Season 8 - his greatest effort yet.
"It's a shame but I gave it gave my best." he remarked after the final race in Seoul. "A lot of things had to go right for me to take the championship. I had to win and Stoffel had to not finish in the points, so that was always going to be a tough ask. But I took it to the last day with the quality of field that we've got in Formula E and I have no regrets."
Clocking just a point in Round 1 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, it wasn't until the double-header in Rome (Rounds 4 & 5) that Evans started to turn up the heat on his championship campaign with a back-to-back win in the Eternal City. From there, he clinched second place in Monaco and went on to win again in Jakarta, followed by a third place finish in Marrakesh and New York, before a commanding win in Seoul (Round 15) kept him in contention for the title in the final race. But ultimately, Evans’ winning form was no match for Vandoorne’s insurmountable consistency.
"The team should be really proud of themselves. I'm proud of myself. We close close the Gen2 chapter and Season 8 and it's been a really good one with four wins. I'm very proud of what we've done within the year but it's unfortunate that our consistency wasn't as good as a Stoffel's and Mercedes'," he admitted.
With no team change afoot for Evans or his teammate Sam Bird, both drivers remain with the British squad as the Gen3 era of Formula E dawns ahead of Season 9.
Missing out on the title by just 33 points in Seoul, Evans will be looking to repeat his star performance next season, providing his team can master the challenges that come with a new car and give him what he needs to get the job done. After six years of waiting, the Kiwi's composure and patience to be crowned champion will no doubt be wearing thin.
Published on 15th August 2022