Mitch Evans delivers Jaguar Racing with maiden win in Rome E-Prix thriller
Mitch Evans became Formula E's seventh different winner in seven races, triumphing on the streets of Rome in a chaotic and thrilling battle to the chequered flag.
Evans, who joined Formula E in Season Three for Jaguar Racing's first full season of electric racing, qualified in second place in Rome while DS Techeetah's Andre Lotterer took pole position in a qualifying session that was marked by changeable conditions.
Securing a strong start from the front row of the grid, Evans challenged Lotterer into Turn 13 which marked the first corner of the E-Prix, however, due to the tight and twsity nature of the Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR, the Kiwi was unable to find a way past the leader, settling into second.
Before Evans could consider attacking Lotterer, a red flag was quickly deployed in the opening stages of the race when GEOX Dragon's Jose Maria Lopez crashed in Turn 17, collecting Gary Paffett and Jean-Eric Vergne which caused a traffic jam into the right-hand chicane.
The red flag resulted in a 40-minute stoppage period in a lengthy clean-up process, with the race order being jumbled up while repairs were required on the barriers in Turn 17.
After the running order was determined, one lap behind the safety car saw the race resumed with Lotterer in the lead, Evans in second and HWA Racelab's Stoffel Vandoorne in third, with the former McLaren Formula 1 driver initially starting from fourth on the grid.
Following Lotterer closely, Evans was unable to find a way past the German racer. A Full Course Yellow with 23-minutes + 1 lap of racing remaining following a double retirement for Venturi led to another stoppage and in this time, Evans gathered his thoughts.
Following the restart, Evans armed and deployed his first use of Attack Mode by driving up the inside of the exit of Turn 6, with this giving the driver a 25kW, 12% power boost for four minutes.
With this power advantage, Evans closed in on Lotterer, overtaking the driver with 15-minutes left on the timing screens.
Needing to manage his energy usage, the gap between Evans and Lotterer remained close and in response to the Kiwi's new-found lead, the now second-placed DS Techeetah driver armed Atttack Mode, hunting down Evans.
When Lotterer's first use of Attack Mode expired, the driver armed the power boost device again, however, was unable to find a route around the Kiwi.
Using his final deployment of Attack Mode in the closing stages of the race, Evans cemented first place, taking the chequered flag to deliver Jaguar Racing with its first victory in Formula E and first podium finish since the 2017 Hong Kong E-Prix.
Low on usable energy, Lotterer settled for second place to take his first podium of the season while Vandoorne took third, delivering HWA with a memorable podium in the team's first season in the all-electric single seater series.
Outside of the podium positions, Robin Frijns took fourth place while Sebastien Buemi fronted a 5-6 for Nissan e.dams, with Oliver Rowland following the Season Two champion across the finishing line.
Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Lucas di Grassi took seventh while Jerome d'Ambrosio finished in eighth place to regain the lead in the Drivers' Championship, beating Antonio Felix da Costa who took ninth while Pascal Wehrlein completed the top 10.
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship's fifth season of competition will continue on April 27 with the Paris E-Prix.
Rome - Race Result
|1||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||25|
|2||Andre Lotterer||DS Techeetah Formula E Team||0.979||18|
|3||Stoffel Vandoorne||HWA Racelab||6.399||15|
|4||Robin Frijns||Envision Virgin Racing||9.181||12|
|5||Sebastien Buemi||Nissan e.dams||9.778||10|
|6||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.dams||11.262||8|
|7||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||24.340||6|
|8||Jerome d'Ambrosio||Mahindra Racing||28.633||4|
|9||Antonio Felix da Costa||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||25.651||2|
|10||Pascal Wehrlein||Mahindra Racing||30.735||1|
|11||Sam Bird||Envision Virgin Racing||32.272||0|
|12||Alex Lynn||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||42.238||0|
|13||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||48.616||0|
|14||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Techeetah Formula E Team||51.891||0|
|15||Tom Dillmann||NIO Formula E Team||52.253||0|
|16||Jose Maria Lopez||GEOX Dragon||70.373||0|
|17||Alexander Sims||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||71.373||0|
|18||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||87.240||0|
|19||Max Gunther||GEOX Dragon||1 Lap||0|
|20||Felipe Massa||Venturi Formula E Team||1 Lap||0|
|21||Edorado Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team||1 Lap||0|
|22||Gary Paffett||HWA Racelab||DNF||0|