Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 31 January 2022 – Sam Bird, secured the fastest lap for Jaguar TCS Racing in the second round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship at Diriyah in Saudi Arabia.
Mitch Evans lined up on the grid in P16 after a challenging group Qualifying session where the Kiwi scraped the walls of the tight street circuit which damaged his steering and compromised his final run. Sam Bird also had an unfortunate group Qualifying session and was unable to complete a competitive lap after hitting the wall and damaging his rear suspension – he lined up P21 on the grid.
Mitch Evans and Sam Bird were both carving their way through the field in the race, gaining five places each and showing the speed and efficiency of the Jaguar I-TYPE 5. An aggressive strategy to save energy for the end of the race was thwarted by a crash from Mahindra’s Alexander Sims which brought out the safety car in the last five minutes. The race did not restart and chances of valuable points evaporated into the desert night.
Mitch finished the race just outside of the points in P11, but the result of the late safety car meant the New Zealander was unable to take his second ATTACK MODE. He received a 24 second penalty and leaves Diriyah with a P21 result while teammate, Bird, finished P15.
The British team, Jaguar TCS Racing, sit sixth in the teams’ standings after the second of the sixteen round ABB FIA Formula E World Championship at Diriyah.
James Barclay, Jaguar TCS Racing Team Principal: “Today our car was quick, Sam was fast – evidenced this morning when he was the fastest on 220kW in Free Practice 3. This is a track where it’s so easy to make a mistake and we had that with both of our cars in Qualifying today. It’s so competitive in Formula E and you really need to optimise qualifying. The days of coming from the back, through to the front aren’t possible anymore. If you look at the race pace, ours is very strong and if it wasn’t for the late safety car, we could have had Mitch up into the points. We will stay strong as a team. With a car as competitive as the Jaguar I-TYPE 5, drivers and the team that we have, we will be able to come back fighting in a couple of weeks.”
Mitch Evans, Jaguar TCS Racing driver #9: “I compromised qualifying today which meant we were out of position at the start of the race. I was making good ground, just up to outside of the points before the safety car came out and ended the race. We were making good progress, gaining places but it was unfortunately one of those weekends that didn’t materialise or go our way. We’ll analyse, put this to bed and come back stronger in Mexico.”
Sam Bird, Jaguar TCS Racing driver #10: “That’s a wrap on Saudi Arabia for this season. Not the day two that we wanted today as Qualifying really hampered us. The good news going forwards is that we have an amazingly quick race car and we secured the fastest lap today. We were efficient and the safety car at the end scuppered our chances otherwise I think we could have scored a few points today. But we’ll keep our heads up, I believe in the team, we’re going to go forwards and I look forward to Mexico.”
Round three of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship takes place on the iconic Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit in Mexico City on Saturday 12 February 2022.