Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans was so close to a first win around the streets of Monte Carlo in Round 7, and to opening his 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship account but for last lap drama. The Kiwi played his hand and was ultimately philosophical after managing to salvage third and silverware.
Mitch Evans (Jaguar Racing) was left hurting after the race win in Monaco slipped through his grasp half way around the final lap, as reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) made the most of his energy advantage to sensationally swoop by the Kiwi at the chicane.
Evans had fought his way back into contention after contact with Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) mid-way through the race saw him fall as far as ninth. Heading into the final third of Round 7, he passed Envision Virgin Racing's Robin Frijns for second then leader da Costa, making perfect use of his second 35kW ATTACK MODE boost.
A spell under the MINI Electric Pacesetter followed for the recovery of Rene Rast's Audi and Evans knew his usable energy would be tight for the final three-lap sprint. He'd shown his hand to get out-front, but the Kiwi said it was his one real shot at victory .
"It hurts but when you look back, I got there because I burned the energy under ATTACK MODE. I knew that was my only chance to get by them," said Evans
"I had two minutes left and I got Robin (Frijns) into Turn 1 and obviously Antonio (Felix da Costa) into Turn 3 and that bit me hard later in the race. With track position I was thinking ‘let’s try and ride this out’ but Antonio was super strong and I had to consume more energy to try and keep him behind. I was already on the back foot, so I knew it was a case of trying to delay things for as long as possible but unfortunately I couldn’t make it work.
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"The whole race was a bit messy to be honest. I caught up with JEV (Jean-Eric Vergne) and I was really good on energy and biding my time. Then he put a last minute move on me at the chicane. It was really awkward as it’s so tight down there. He was half up alongside then he hit me so I went through the chicane and I wasn’t sure if I’d have to give the place back or not. That call came really late, like three or four laps later and that put me back from the lead guys.
"That meant on the second ATTACK MODE I had to consume a lot to get back to them. I finished probably where I should have had but it’s bound to hurt leading half way around the last lap and especially as it’s Monaco – everybody wants to win there. I’ve had multiple podiums there in other categories but never a win. Unfortunately we came up half a lap short."