Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans currently leads the challenge to standings leader Antonio Felix da Costa, heading into the nine-day six-race Berlin finale on August 5 in second spot after a strong first half of the season.
Evans finds himself on-course to handily outdo his best effort to-date of fifth overall in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, earned last year – having already outdone his podium tally by double in the opening five rounds, whilst also sealing a dominant race win back in Mexico City.
The Kiwi is fully aware of the pace and promise he and Jaguar have shown so far, and he’s keen to stress that nobody has rested on their laurels as the outfit seeks to capitalise on its strong start ahead of an unprecedented test in Berlin. Hitting the ground running, he says, is vital.
“We have worked hard during lockdown and have done everything we can to enhance the performance of the current car,” said Evans. “We’re in a good position but we knew nobody else would be standing still so we needed to make progress in the interim.
“A lot of it’s software-based so development has been able to continue. Other teams will have really utilised the time well, I’m sure, so we’ve tried to bridge the gap to the top and make developments of our own.
“I’m looking forward to seeing where we are once we roll out of the garage in Berlin - we’ve made sure we’re going to be the best prepared team once we get there.”
“With so many points still available, it’s anybody’s championship to take. Tonio (Antonio Felix da Costa, DS Techeetah) is obviously in a great position to start with but I’m well aware there are a lot of guys in and around us that can leapfrog us.
“If someone has a run of form over the week, they can really shift up the order. Obviously, I’m hoping we find a good run of form and really challenge for the title as we’re in a great position just now and I want to make the most of the opportunity we’ve earned ourselves this season so far.”
Formula E will arrive at Tempelhof Airport, a fixture on all bar one of the series’ calendars since the inaugural 2014/15 season, amid a unique set of circumstances.
Teams and drivers had been kept in the dark as to just how the trio of double-headers would look, with series organisers lifting the lid on the track configurations to be used just two weeks ahead of time.
The championship's Sporting Director, Fred Espinos, cited the intention to spring a surprise and throw another spanner in the works of the championship’s usually fastidiously-prepared teams.
Each pair of races will be run a different layout, presenting opportunities for distinct strategies and providing the perfect conditions to feed Formula E’s inherently unpredictable, exciting all-electric street racing.
It’s another factor in the mix of an already-unique race meeting for the likes of Evans to contend with.
“The track configurations are going to be a fascinating element,” said the 26-year-old. “It’ll be interesting to see which teams and drivers are able to adapt to those changes the quickest.
“That adaptation will be key given how close the double-headers are together and how late in the day we were given the details – limiting our preparations. You’ll need to hit the ground running to maximise all the points that are going to be available over the course of the six races.
“The restrictions are going to be in place, and add another interesting aspect. It’s new territory for everybody so team members are limited and it’s going to feel a little weird – operationally it’ll be a challenge.
"The whole situation throws our usual race weekend routine up in the air - it’s really going to be wild!”