Nelson Piquet Jr. believes that a better qualifying result would have put him on the podium in Saturday’s Mexico City E-Prix, in another encouraging outing for Panasonic Jaguar Racing.
The inaugural ABB Formula E champion finished fourth, tying his best result of the season, following an energy management run that nearly paid off.
Piquet, who started from seventh on the grid, managed to stretch the mileage of his Jaguar I-Type one additional lap than the other leaders prior to the mid-race pit stop, which helped him eventually pass championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne for fourth on Lap 35.
While having pressured Sebastien Buemi in the closing stages, the Brazilian was forced to settle for fourth.
“I was trying a different strategy,” Piquet told e-racing365. “Depending on who the players are around you, you want to risk overtaking or you want to try and save energy.
“JEV is sometimes a pain in the ass to get around and I just preferred to save a bit and try to do a lap extra. So that’s what I did.
“It didn’t work out perfectly for us but I ended up passing Jean-Eric easily in the second stint.
“But towards the end, I think I over-cooked the tires a bit. We got close; we tried, but I think definitely a better starting position would have put us on the podium for sure.”
Despite still searching for his first podium of the season, Piquet took away a number of positives from the Mexico weekend.
“The positive thing is that our car has consistency and reliability compared to all of the other cars,” he said.
“I think we’re the most reliable car out there. We might not yet be the quickest ones but we’re the most reliable. And that shows in the points.
“We’re third in the championship now; I’m still fifth but getting closer to the top-three.
“We just need to keep improving, keep getting better, understand what we didn’t do well over here and why qualifying wasn’t great and keep stepping forward.”