Panasonic Jaguar Racing was denied a chance to fight for its first ABB FIA Formula E Championship win after Mitch Evans was penalized in qualifying at the Punta del Este E-Prix last weekend, according to team principal James Barclay.
He believes that Mitch Evans was in line to at least challenge Jean-Eric Vergne and Lucas di Grassi for victory if a weight infraction has not hampered his weekend.
“Coming out of Super Pole we genuinely thought that we’re in a really strong place to be fighting for the win today,” Barclay told e-racing365.
“So it was a real shame when we found out Mitch had been penalized. The penalty was incredibly harsh but it’s fair. We could have challenged for the win today, definitely.”
Evans was sent from third on the provisional grid back to a 16th starting position after his car’s weight distribution was found to be out of the 37.5 percent to 39.5 percent bracket at the front of his Jaguar I-Type.
Jaguar was forced to change Evans’ battery ahead of qualifying and the lack of time to accurately weigh the car triggered the difference.
“We were 300 grams out, [just] 0.1 %,” he said.
“We had a battery issue and the slight weight difference in the battery told, because by the time we finished changing it we had no time to check it for qualifying, so that just shifted the whole balance of the car.
“It’s a shame because in the end result there’s actually no performance gained when it is just 300 grams and it doesn’t make a difference but rules are rules are we abide by them.”
Barclay paid tribute to Evans, who similarly to his performance fighting from the back in Santiago last month, impressed by making up more positions than anyone else on the grid.
“It’s just a shame because from there Mitch flew, showed his pace, and overtook really well. The overall pace of the car going through traffic was really impressive,” described Barclay.
“The reality is, we’ve shown we have the car that’s really fast. I’m not surprised considering how much work we’ve put into it, but it’s really positive to see that we’ve made one of the biggest steps and that’s really good and I’m really proud of the team.
“We had really strong potential this weekend. We just need a race day where everything falls into place.
“In the second part of the season the key will be about executing a weekend from start to finish, and we’ll be right there hunting again.”