Panasonic Jaguar Racing was once again at the heart of the action in Rome in the latest round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship as the team’s record of scoring points in each round of the 2017/18 season continued. In a season of firsts, Mitch delivered the team’s highest ever starting position of third place with team-mate Nelson starting 13th on the grid.
Both Nelson and Mitch made solid starts and managed the energy of their Jaguar’s efficiently. As the halfway point of the race approached, Nelson pitted first for the team, but encountered difficulties with his seatbelts as he pulled away from the garage, he retired shortly after.
Following a successful car change on lap 16, Mitch was in the midst of a nail-biting battle for a podium and possible win. While running as high as second, the Kiwi driver was battling hard with Sam Bird for the win. On lap 29 Mitch attacked into turn 9 but the Virgin driver defended the inside and he lost momentum depleting his energy reserves. He eventually crossed the line in ninth.
As the British team move on to Paris for the next round of the ABB FIA Formula E Nelson sits sixth in the Championship with Mitch seventh.
James Barclay, Team Director Panasonic Jaguar Racing:
A real shame about the final result today after showing great form over the weekend with our best qualifying position of P3. There was a chance of a win or podium but we used too much energy and we had to back off to finish the race. Another really good step forward for us and positive for the team. We are racers and will always aim for the top – it just wasn’t meant to be today. Rome hosted a fantastic Italian Formula E debut and we have good momentum now for Paris in a few days time.
Mitch Evans, #20:
Qualifying was good but I’m gutted as we had a chance to win today. Coming away with points for the team is positive but we could have had a lot more which is hard to take. I had my eyes on the prize but well done to Sam (Bird). Hopefully we can be fighting for a podium in Paris.
Nelson Piquet Jr, #3:
The day started off well with fastest time in FP1. We tried to do something different in qualifying which unfortunately didn’t work out. I was confident in the race as we know we have pace and efficiency but today wasn’t our day. I had a seat belt issue in the pit lane so I had to stop to put them back on which took too much time. Mitch had a great race but we can learn as a team from this one. Rome was an amazing event, the track was cool and the fans were passionate.
The debut Rome E-Prix marked Jaguar Racing’s title partner Panasonic’s 100th anniversary with bespoke ‘lightbulb’ logos adorning the Jaguar I-TYPEs. On Saturday 28 April Panasonic Jaguar Racing will return to Paris for the next round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.