Mitch Evans says that the incident which saw him collide with Lucas di Grassi on the final lap of Sunday’s New York City E-Prix was caused by his battery on his Jaguar shutting down due to excessive temperatures.
Evans was running in seventh with di Grassi’s Audi e-Tron FE05 on his tail in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship season finale when his Jaguar I-Type3’s battery caused him to slow suddenly.
The subsequent accident saw di Grassi impact the wall and retire while Evans was able to continue to finish in 17th after a post-race time penalty of a converted stop-and-go sanction was applied.
“I was d-rating on the battery and it was about to shut off,” Evans told e-racing365.
“We had a miscalculation with the battery temperature and we thought that we were safe but on the last lap it jumped up and I couldn’t react.
“Going in to Turn 10 it was losing power and I was trying to close him and I didn’t know if I was going to get to the end.
“I made contact with him and it was probably a bit unnecessary and it was a huge shame as I fought really hard all weekend so to finish like that was a real disappointment.”
Di Grassi said that Evans’ desperate attempt to get his car to the line was “not needed” but he understood why the Kiwi had defended so robustly.
“Mitch was very slow out of the hairpin and I had [Oliver] Rowland behind me so I could not react and because he slowed down so much I tried to pass and I went to the left and the right but he squeezed me in to the wall,” di Grassi told e-racing365.
“It was not needed because if he finished where he was he would probably have got fourth in the championship, so in the end it was bad for him.
“He apologized and said he got desperate and I said, ‘Ok but man that was a bit dangerous.’ I hope he learns from that in the future but I also understand what happened and why.
Di Grassi, who was uninjured in the accident, suffered a 15G impact which triggered the in-cockpit blue light to alert safety teams.