Welcome to Race Chaser Online’s 2017/2018 Formula E preview series. We kick off the journey through the grid with a look at a team that has picked up a major driver for their campaign this year.
Panasonic Jaguar Racing
No. 20: Mitch Evans (New Zealand)
No. 47: Nelson Piquet Jr. (Brazil)
2016/2017 Drivers’ Standings:
Mitch Evans: 14th — 22 points
Adam Carroll: 21st — 5 points
WHITLEY, England — The third season of the FIA’s Formula E World Championship saw the introduction of a new manufacturer in the form of Jaguar, and while the entrance of a world-class brand captured the intrigue of many within the championship, not everything went as smooth as originally planned.
Before the launch of the season, the British marque announced the signing of former A1GP champion Adam Carroll and 2012 GP3 champion Mitch Evans as their factory drivers after extensive try-outs, which included hopefuls Harry Tincknell and Alex Lynn. Additionally, the marque revealed that they would be receiving technical assistance from fellow British team Williams.
With this much depth and talent, Jaguar remained optimistic heading into the season opener in Hong Kong.
But as the team quickly realized, being a new team in an established would be an uphill battle. Both Carroll and Evans struggled in the first three races of the season.
Following a double points finish in Mexico City, where Evans finished fourth and Carroll finished eighth, a remarkable uptick in performance occurred. Evans went on to score points on three more occasions throughout the season, which combined with his gutsy drives, secured him a position with the team for an additional season.
While Carroll put in decent performances, his mediocre results compared to his teammate did not warrant an invitation for the 2017/2018 season. Instead, the team announced that inaugural Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr. would join the team.
The Brazilian, having made no secrets about his frustrations with former employer NextEV NIO, became eager to join a manufacturer team. Both parties had been wanting to join forces for some time now, as both seek to improve their performances on the track.
Team principal James Barclay stated that he was “hugely excited” that the team had the opportunity to sign Piquet, while at the same time praising Evans’ performance during the team’s inaugural season, labeling him “one of the outstanding rookies of the season.”
Barclay also noted that the marques goal for the upcoming season was to be regular point scorers.
With the team’s driver talents, the determination and resources from Jaguar itself, and the team’s strong performance at the end of the season, there should be no reason why Panasonic Jaguar Racing could be serious points challengers for the 2017/2018 season.
About the Writer
Austin Collins is a history major at Catawba College, with minors in Business Administration and French. Having been born in Charlotte, N.C. and currently residing in nearby Mooresville, Collins has been around racing all his life.
Collins has worked for Derrike Cope Racing in the past and is currently an intern at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. His racing interests include NASCAR, Formula 1, IndyCar, Formula E, World Rally Championship, the World Endurance Championship and the Dakar Rally. Collins is part of Race Chaser Online’s open wheel team as a Formula E correspondent.