GEOX Rome E-Prix winner Mitch Evans felt the lessons he learned during last season’s Italian race helped him to claim his first-ever victory in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
Evans and DS Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer re-imagined their Season 4 on-track battle as they fought for the lead throughout yesterday’s race at Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR.
The Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver told e-racing365 that his 2018 duel with Lotterer, in which he was forced to back off in his pursuit of a podium after consuming too much energy, helped him this time around.
“It’s about being smart with energy and not race like I may have done a bit last year. It’s like a chess match, the whole race,” he said.
“I learned a lot from it [last year]. I learned how to manage things when you’re ahead of the game from an energy point of view and not completely waste it.”
Evans said that he was initially surprised at being able to track Lotterer and manage his energy consumption adequately during the 45-minute race.
“I knew I had the control, the speed,” he said.
“To be honest, when I first got the energy readings that I was 2 percent up on him, I was extremely surprised because I was not cruising, and I was not losing any pace to him, so I thought ‘OK, this is looking good.”
Evans also revealed how he strategized his Attack Mode boosts during the race, with the Kiwi striking first before coming under a hail of two consecutive Lotterer Attack Modes in the final 12 minutes.
“I didn’t want to waste the Attack Mode,” he said.
“The guys were telling me that he’s going to do the Attack Zone this lap, you should think about it. I said ‘no, I want to be on a different strategy to him. That’s my only opportunity to get by.”
“Fortunately, we did that. The move [into the chicane] was on the edge, I need to see the replay, but I got a nice move done.
“That was not the most conventional corner to overtake but in this championship, against a tough racer like Andre, you need to take any opportunity like that, so I had a little sniff and it happened.
“I think it was reasonably fair, there was a bit of contact, but it was fair hard racing. From there, I knew I had the pace to keep him behind.”
Missed Attack Zone Error “Awkward”
Evans described how he missed his originally-intended second Attack Mode pickup, which he went to deploy as a means of defending from Lotterer, who had used up both of his mandatory power boosts.
Blending out of the activation zone a fraction too early meant Evans didn’t trigger the final loop, which brought Lotterer onto his tail for a lap before he caught the zone at the second time of asking.
“I have a beep when it [Attack Mode] activates,” explained Evans.
“I went through and it didn’t beep, I was like ‘oh, lord no please’, I looked down and I could see I had missed it, awkward!”
“I must have turned a bit too early. I was kicking myself but I had really good speed, a lot of confidence that I can actually make that 1.2s gap again and did it.
“He [Lotterer] was struggling with his tires a bit, so I kept cool at it worked out nicely. I did think I may have really screwed our chances today but it was nice to recover from that.”