JAGUAR ON THE UP
I SJ AGUAR THE WORS TTE AM IN FORMULA E? Autosport didn’t wi nm any friends when that headlineappeared online, alongside a detailed look atthet roubled start of the British manufacturer’s much-heralded return to racing, 12 months ago. Progressi ono ver 2016-17 helped make those terriblefirs tt wo race ss eem adistant memory,and in Hong Kong Jaguarmade its first propermark on FE.
Mitch Eva nss hould have been fighting for pole on Saturday ,buta n amateur mistake from the tea mm ean thed id not start his flying lap in time.that consigned him to an almost progressionle ssr ace from thebac k,although new team-mate Nelson Piquet Jrmatched Jaguar’s best-eve rr esult with fourth.
A day later Evans (above) gave Jaguar its first superpoleappearance and qualified second, but had tostartfourth aftera technical irregularity. He ran thirduntil slipping behind Rosenqvist in theca rsw aps, but, when Daniel Abt was disqualified, Evans was promoted to Jaguar’s first FE podium.
The Kiwi reckons the team is now comparing itself to the leaders, “because we are really mixing it with them, if not even a little bit quicker” on one lap, which means “our expectations and goals have slightly changed”.
But there is a warning amid the positivity. Jaguar’s race pace was not so strong, and Evans and Piquet (below) were both around 0.3 seconds per lap slower than the fastest runners on average. That is still a strong step from last season, but could be a crucial weakness given Jaguar’s pure performance looks to be directly comparable with the frontrunners.
“We are trying to extract the speed for a whole race stint and there are obviously some frustrations,” said Evans. “It’s just in comparison to where we are in one-lap pace.”