James Barclay: Mitch Evans Monaco penalty 'did not fit the crime'
Panasonic Jaguar Racing team boss James Barclay believes that Mitch Evans' penalty at the Monaco E-Prix did not match the nature of the Kiwi's mistake in qualifying in the Principality.
After ending qualifying as the third fastest driver on track - a performance that would be good enough for second on the grid - Evans received a 10-place grid penalty for the ninth round of the season when it was found that the Rome E-Prix race winner switched the power mode on his Jaguar I-TYPE 3 to 250kW too early during his out lap.
For this crime, Evans was handed an official reprimand by the stewards which marked his third of the season, resulting in the application of a 10-place grid penalty for the 45-minute + 1 lap E-Prix.
Starting from 12th, Evans was able to recover into a points-paying position, taking seventh at the chequered flag before inheriting sixth after BMW's Antonio Felix da Costa was disqualified from the final result post-race.
Reflecting on the Monaco E-Prix, Barclay had mixed emotions, stating that the penalty that Evans received did not suit the nature of the driver's crime while remaining buoyed by the team's first double points finish since the season-opening Ad Diriyah E-Prix last December, with Alex Lynn claiming eighth place:
"Mixed emotions from my perspective," he said. "We had one of the fastest race cars across FP1 and FP2 and to finish with both cars in the points is something we haven’t done since the start of the season.
"Mitch [Evans] had a fantastic qualifying performance – finishing P3 on the road before the ten-place grid penalty. On the Monaco circuit, grid position is crucial, so that really stung us.
"Mitch made a little mistake switching to maximum power prior to the final sector. The Stewards acknowledged that this did not provide a performance advantage but we were severely penalised – the penalty did not fit the crime in my opinion.
"Congratulations to Alex [Lynn] for scoring his first points for Jaguar and to Mitch for another spirited drive through the field."
With four races remaining of the 2018/19 season, Jaguar currently occupies eighth in the Teams' Standings with 74 points, heavily impacted upon by a series of non-points-scoring finishes by former driver Nelson Piquet Jr who was dismissed after the Sanya E-Prix, replaced by Lynn.