Formula E

Change of power at Jaguar? Evans under pressure from team-mate Cassidy ahead of Sao Paulo Formula E race

Timo Pape

Timo Pape

Since day one of the British manufacturer Jaguar in Formula E, Mitch Evans has been the undisputed number one driver in the team. However, with the spectacular signing of Nick Cassidy and his strong start to the season, the Evans monument has recently begun to crumble. In order to prevent this, the Formula E veteran will need to make a statement this Saturday in Sao Paulo if he wants to maintain his status.

While team-newbie Cassidy has finished on the podium three times in the first three races of the 2024 season and leads the Drivers' World Championship, Evans has so far finished no higher than fifth - the same position he occupies in the overall standings. After a problem with the steering in Mexico City, a wild duel with Jean-Eric Vergne sent him into a rage in Diriyah. But so did the strategy games that Jaguar played with him and Cassidy over the radio.

"I was really frustrated. They told me to let him overtake because he hadn't activated his attack modes yet. But they didn't give me any more information," Evans lamented to The Race after the Diriyah E-Prix.

"I played my role with Nick, let him pass so he could get his attack modes, and it all worked out well. But I definitely wasn't supported at all," Evans fires back at his team. "That's something we need to discuss, because for me the strategy wasn't right. We had a good chance to win today."

Instead, Evans made a desperate attack on the last lap and dropped from third to fifth place - while team-mate Cassidy finished on the podium and even took the win one day later. Cassidy was collegial on the podium saying Evans actually would have deserved the trophy. Nevertheless, his compatriot's frustration is likely to run deep.

Jaguar team boss Barclay: "Basically, they're good friends"

The rivalry at Jaguar is real - as it has always been in motorsports. Jaguar team principal James Barclay does not see an internal power struggle within the team though, as was once the case between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in Formula 1. "Basically, they're good friends, they've known each other for a very long time," he told racingnews365.com. "When moments like this come up, of course we have to deal with it. A few background noises are quite normal."

For him, success for Jaguar is paramount - and that is only possible with two top drivers. "We wanted a driver pairing that would give us the chance to score maximum points every weekend. The two of them know very well that it is their job to work well together. We will manage this together as a group. And we'll do it the way we've always done it, namely very openly and very cooperatively."

"I can honestly say that the atmosphere in the team is really fantastic," assures Barclay. "We're all here to get Jaguar to the top step of the podium."

Evans "a bit annoyed and disappointed"

Evans makes no secret of the fact that there is no big joy on one side of the Jaguar pit: "It's frustrating. I'm just generally a bit annoyed and disappointed with how the season has started."

"Because I feel like we were one of the fastest cars on average. I just wasn't able to convert that into a decent result," Evans also explained to racingnews365.com.

"It's still early in the season, but I definitely need to start stepping up in terms of points and getting some better results," said Evans. "I don't feel like I'm on the backfoot - well, probably I am a little bit. Luckily there were only three races so far, with 13 to go. So I'm still very, very optimistic."

Will Sao Paulo be a turning point like 2023?

This weekend, Evans has the opportunity to turn things around at the Sao Paulo E-Prix - just like a year ago: "Sao Paulo was my first win in 2023 and a turning point in the season. That's when we really got going as a team," says the "Kiwi", recalling the Brazilian Jaguar festival with two works cars and a customer car in the top three.

In his Brazilian debut, Evans came out on top against his current team-mate Cassidy (Envision) and his garage neighbour at the time, Sam Bird, and secured the first Jaguar victory of the 2023 season. The circuit therefore seems to suit not only the "big cat", but also Evans.

"The track flows really nicely and is great street circuit," he says. "Sao Paulo will be a great opportunity for me to gain more crucial points for the team and close the gap in the Drivers’ Championship." The race weekend in Brazil begins on Friday evening at 20:30 (CET) with the first free practice session. The race starts on Saturday at 6pm (CET).

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