Jaguar’s Mitch Evans described Formula E as like a game of chess after victory in a “bizarre” Sao Paulo E-Prix that nobody wanted to lead.
Evans claimed his first win of the season ahead of Nick Cassidy and team-mate Sam Bird, leading an all Jaguar powered podium.
It wasn’t until late in the race when Evans came through into the race lead, something he claimed was crucial for the race win.
“It was a really tricky race to manage, but the team worked through it pretty well, in terms of pick a moment to lead or drop behind,” he said after the race. “It was quite extreme in terms of not wanting to lead a race, which is completely bizarre, but we knew that and we played it right.
“There’s a lot of work that’s gone in behind the scenes to get our timings right throughout the race, and we just had to pick our moment.
“We had a good energy advantage throughout the race. The last few laps were a little bit tricky but we got it done so I’m just super chuffed with the team and myself, just to try and get some decent points on the board and we can go from there.”
He went on to explain how slipstream sensitive this season has been.
“The last few races – and even some races that have not really been [slipstream sensitive] in the past – were [slipstream sensitive]. But this time we knew it was going to be pretty extreme. And it was, to be honest. It was as expected.
“Trying to manage that, the closing speeds when you’re in the slipstream, especially to the guy in the lead, is quite a lot. So just trying to not have collisions and try not to make contact with the other guys… but racing guys like these two [Nick Cassidy and Sam Bird] and Stoffel [Vandoorne] and Antonio [Felix Da Costa], all completely world class. It was just amazing to go toe to toe with these guys and try to outsmart each other.
“We always say it’s literally like playing chess out there, where you put your car. It feels good as a team we’ve got it really right. I don’t know how much we finished ahead of the others but it’s nice to reward the team with this kind of result.”
In a season that has so far been dominated by Porsche, it was an important race for Jaguar. The team lies a distant third in the championship standings after two point-less races, but moves ahead of early leaders Andretti Formula E and DS Penske. Customer team Envision is second in the teams’ championship, 41 points behind the Porsche works team.
“We couldn’t leave it much later in the season because we’ve lost a lot of ground,” Evans said. “The qualis have been good, the pace has been good. The race pace has been solid but, for different reasons, we’ve not been able to convert to a good result.
“We knew this race was going to be tough from a strategy point of view, but I think we timed it to perfection.
“Obviously having three Jaguar powertrains on the podium is a special moment for the team.”