JAGUAR ON THE UP

Autosport (UK) - - FORMUL A E/HONG KONG -

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.”

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