Although Saturday’s ABB Formula E Championship win came down to a last-lap battle between BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Max Guenther and DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa, the third-place finisher felt like it could have been his day but for an electronic glitch.
Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans (pictured at right, above, with Guenther) was left weighing the pluses and minuses of a Santiago race that left the championship hopeful with a “bittersweet” taste. On one hand, the New Zealander secured a crucial 19 points after coming in third — albeit only after Mercedes’ Nyck de Vries, third on the road, was demoted to fifth for a battery infringement — and clinched the Julius Baer Pole Position (worth three points) on a day when points leader Alexander Sims had an early DNF. But Evans felt a lot more was there for the taking.
Starting from pole, Evans led for the best part of half the race, until Guenther slipped past with 25 minutes left on the clock. While it was a perfectly timed overtake, Evans said he was in no position to fight back.
“The race sort of slipped from our hands — it was a bit of a strange one,” admitted Evans. “Looking at the positives, we’ve got some good points and a podium after having a bad start of the season, so I am happy with that. Starting from P1, I wanted to walk away with a win, but we still have work to do,” he added.
With 21 points to his name after three rounds, Evans sits eighth in the championship standings — 17 points from Mercedes-Benz EQ driver and new championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished sixth in Chile.
“From the start, we had software problems that we had to deal with — I’d never experienced them before,” Evans added. “I over-consumed energy because I wasn’t getting any information…it left me blind and getting no guidance. It was extremely difficult to manage the race today.
“It could have been a lot worse but we need to look into it. I’m happy with the result but it was bittersweet….”