Mitch Evans, Jaguar, Formula E, 2019

Evans and Jaguar take first Formula E win after lengthy stoppage

Formula E

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Mitch Evans has taken his first Formula E victory and Jaguar’s first ever single seater victory as a manufacturer at the 2019 Rome Eprix.

The 24-year-old had been pipped to pole position by Andre Lotterer a few hours earlier but took over the lead of the race and built up an energy advantage over his DS Techeetah rival. Stoffel Vandoorne completed the podium, scoring the first for himself and HWA, despite stopping on track with a broken driveshaft after crossing the line.

The race was heavily disrupted when Jose Maria Lopez, Gary Paffett and Jean-Eric Vergne tangled, blocking the narrow track. Under new rules which stop Formula E’s race clock now stopping during any red flag period, that meant a 45-minute wait for the remaining 42 minutes and 10 seconds (plus one lap) to run, during which time drivers sat miserably in cold and damp cars.

The initial collision had involved no less than Lopez, Paffett and Vergne plus Pascal Wehrlein, Jerome D’Ambrosio, Oliver Turvey, Tom Dillman and Daniel Abt, most of whom fortunately managed to park on track before becoming directly involved but nonetheless ended up trapped behind the accident, creating a complex restart procedure even when the track had been cleared and barrier reset. The top 11 cars were asked to wait in the pit lane, while the 11 cars who were determined to be a lap down were asked to run a race-pace (rather than red flag speed) lap before the safety car restart, fortunately without further incident.

Rome is oneof Formula E’s longer tracks, with considerable undulation. Energy had proved the undoing of Evans here before, as it has for other front-runners this season – most notably Wehrlein in Mexico. With the new clock stoppage, remaining race time seemed clearer on the restart, even if track position remained complex.

Race order on the restart saw Lotterer, Evans and Vandoorne leading behind two laps of the safety car, before being left to race. Bar one short full course yellow period, the rest of the race remained disruption-free, with only two further retirements (both Venturi cars, from technical failures rather than collisions).

Lotterer and Evans raced nose-to-tail for almost the entire race, with first Lotterer leading Evans despite an increasing energy deficit to the Jaguar, then Evans squeezing past Lotterer in a firm-but-fair move that saw both continue to compete fiercely. By twenty minutes to go, both still had both their Attack Mode activations to use in a who-blinks-first contest that saw the feature truly used strategically as an on-track battle for possibly the first time this season.

Despite a missed activation and Lotterer’s pursuit, Evans managed to control the race until the end, including slowing the pace for two laps to prevent an additional lap before crossing the chequered flag.

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2019 Formula E Rome EPrix highlights

Provisional classification

1. Mitch Evans – Panasonic Jaguar
2. Andre Lotterer – DS Techeetah
3. Stoffel Vandoorne – HWA
4. Robin Frijns – Envision Virgin
5. Sebastien Buemi – Nissan e.Dams
6. Oliver Rowland – Nissan e.Dams
7. Lucas di Grassi – Audi
8. Jerome D’Ambrosio – Mahindra
9. Antonio Felix da Costa – BMWi Andretti
10. Pascal Wehrlein – Mahindra
11. Sam Bird – Envision Virgin
12. Alex Lynn – Panasonic Jaguar
13. Oliver Turvey – NIO
14. Jean-Eric Vergne – DS Techeetah
15. Tom Dillman – NIO
16. Jose-Maria Lopez – GEOX Dragon
17. Alexander Sims – BMWi Andretti
18. Daniel Abt – Audi
19. Maxi Guenther – GEOX Dragon
DNF Felipe Massa – Venturi
DNF Edoardo Mortara – Venturi
DNF Gary Paffett – HWA

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 13 comments on “Evans and Jaguar take first Formula E win after lengthy stoppage”

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      13th April 2019, 19:34

      Why have time limited races suddenly changed from x amount of time to x amount of time + 1 lap.

      1. @JP – Completely in keeping with the Mickey Mouse nature of the concept of the series I would have thought….

      2. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
        13th April 2019, 21:18

        Not sure what you mean. The start at 45 min plus 1 lap and after an early red flag the clock was stopped at 42 min and a lap, which was the time they used at the restart after the safety barrier was repaired.

      3. This season the regulation says the race length is 45min + 1 lap. It’s been like that since the opener at Riyadh i think.
        Previous seasons it was 45 laps, so it ends up much longer albeit with the car swap

    2. Great day for Mitch! I watched his Dad race when I was growing up, followed Mitch since his teens in Formula Toyota. Great to see him win today! Shame money is such an issue, he would do well in F1 I’m quite sure.

    3. Brilliant race. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Love attack mode, love 45 mins + 1 lap. Love the crashing and pushing and shoving. love this series. It’s only going to get faster.

      Basically, its go carting gone mad. Frame it that way and not an F1 alternative, you may learn to like it :)

      1. @hare i’m the total opposite.

        thought it was a poor race on an awful circuit, think attack mode is one of the worst & utterly pointless gimmicks i’ve ever seen, think there is far too much crashing/bumper cars and just in general cannot get into the series because of all that.

        it it was more about pure racing on good circuits i think it would grab me more. but the terrible circuits, silly gimmicks and bumper car nature of it just turns me off.

        1. I love the attack mode. It seems much better than the crappy DRS solution that F1 has come up with.

          I also love the racing but I do agree that some of the tracks (including the Rome one) could do with some modifications. I think they ought to be a little wider to allow better racing. This was highlighted by the pile up which may not have happened if that chicane was either a little wider or was more like the Monaco chicane (ie open so you can cut it if necessary). They need more wide mid speed corners But all in all the racing has generally been much more exciting than F1s this year.

        2. Ash (@shoeybababooey)
          18th April 2019, 13:00

          Funnily enough we discussed a lot of the criticisms here on our post-race videocast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOyDOOAf6to
          I can understand why some motorsport fans feel a certain way about many things in the series. But attack mode has been a huge strategic success in the absence of any pit stop strategies.

      2. Cristiano Ferreira
        14th April 2019, 15:18

        Dont compare Kart races with this pathetic excuse of a racing series. Karts are way better than this.

    4. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      14th April 2019, 8:22

      That was a good old Formula E car park

      Also, good on vandoorne to score his first podium

      1. Indeed. He has had some terrible luck this year.

        Also what an amazing effort by Virgin to get Birds car back on track!

    5. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      14th April 2019, 13:02

      Formula E is so much more interesting and fun to watch than Formula 1.

      At least Formula E is trying to introduce an element of excitement into their product. This season has been good to watch and refreshing to see a series where everyone has a chance to score a great result and compete.

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