The fifth season of ABB FIA Formula E got off to an electric start in Saudi Arabia with a doublepoints finish for Panasonic Jaguar Racing. The race saw the debut of the new Generation 2 Jaguar I-TYPE 3, a faster all-electric racecar with greater efficiency and range.
Kiwi Mitch Evans battled inclement weather, a challenging track and bad luck in qualifying to narrowly miss out on a podium position, finishing fourth. His Brazilian teammate, Nelson Piqet Jr, fought for a valuable point to finish tenth.
The new Ad Diriyah track provided a tricky challenge for all 22 Formula E drivers. An unseasonal rain shower disrupted the free practice sessions, which placed further importance on qualifying. Both Jaguar drivers were adversely penalised by Felix Rosenqvist’s crash and were unable to complete flat-out 250kW qualifying laps. Despite this, Mitch Evans, with the aid of the new Attack Mode power boost, was able to make up four places from eighth place on the grid.
James Barclay, Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s team director, still thought it was a good start to the season following the compromised qualifying. “It’s shame that we were disadvantaged as a team after the red flag error in qualifying, but I think we recovered well and should take the positives of turning our fortunes around with a solid points finish.
“Mitch drove a smart race and showed the speed and efficiency of the Jaguar I-TYPE 3. Fourth place after starting eighth shows we had a competitive package and executed a good race strategy.”