The move of Nick Cassidy to Jaguar TCS Racing was one of the most talked about driver signings of the off-season. Leaving Teams’ Champions Envision Racing, to represent their powertrain supplier Jaguar, Cassidy has been discussing his first qualifying session with his new team.
“It wasn’t easy,” he said after the exciting session. Cassidy finished qualifying in third, being denied a place in the Duels Final by eventual Julius Baer Pole Position holder Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche). However, the Kiwi racer also had to take a one-place grid penalty for an incident in Free Practice 1, where both he and his teammate Mitch Evans did not enter into their respective garages during a red flag period. DS PENSKE’s Stoffel Vandoorne was also hit with the sanction for the same offence.
This penalty meant that although Cassidy was the quickest in the Semi-final, out of him and Evans, he wouldn’t be starting in third and instead lines up on the grid in fourth with the penalty applied. Evans will be fifth, with Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Guenther being promoted into the third place spot.
“I think actually we haven't been, or I haven't been, very comfortable this weekend,” Cassidy continued. “I am struggling a bit. Still some new things that we are getting used to, even though it’s a new team and the same car, a few little changes, and overall I am pretty happy with this result considering. I am sure we can only get stronger.”
Nick Cassidy has never started in the top eight on this track, so this fourth place is an improvement on the two times he’s driven at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
“I have got to be happy,” he finalised. “I wasn’t in a P3 car this morning or yesterday, somehow we got a result out of it and like you say it hasn’t been a good track for me. It’s all good.”