Jaguar thought breakthrough result was lost

Jaguar thought breakthrough result was lost
By AutoSport

04/04/2017 at 18:58Updated

Jaguar thought the multi-car accident in the closing stages of the Mexico City ePrix would force Mitch Evans to retire and cost the British manufacturer its breakthrough Formula E result.

Evans finished fourth in Mexico last Saturday, while team-mate Adam Carroll was eighth as the team celebrated its first points finish since joining the electric single-seater series for this season.

Both drivers ran inside the top 10 throughout the race, but were caught up in a multi-car incident triggered by Nico Prost hitting Nick Heidfeld with just over three laps remaining.

Evans, who was seventh at the time, braked to avoid Heidfeld's spinning Mahindra and got rear-ended by Felix Rosenqvist.

"I thought 100% 'we're out'," Evans told Autosport. "Normally when you get a hit that big in the rear it breaks the suspension or rips a wheel off.

"Something was with us to help us get through that, any other time I don't think the car would survive that big a hit."

The accident delayed Prost and allowed Evans to move to fifth, and the New Zealander inherited fourth when Jerome d'Ambrosio ran out of energy on the final lap.

"Those first points are always the hardest," said Evans. "We know we've not got the best package but we're making great progress and everyone should be really proud.

"It's great for everybody's mindset - we can be a bit more aggressive and it takes the pressure off.

"To get fourth is a massive highlight, and a double points finish is very special."

Team director James Barclay said "we thought, 'How the hell can that be OK?'" when Evans confirmed over the radio he could continue after the collision.

"That was a moment where our hearts sunk," he said. "We thought there was no chance. But the car's built strong and we were due a bit of fortune there."

Carroll led Evans for two-thirds of the race after outqualifying his team-mate, but dropped behind him after the final safety car and was ninth at the time of the accident.

He was delayed by Rosenqvist continuing with the front of his Mahindra crumpled and lost places to Daniel Abt and Jose Maria Lopez, but still finished the race in eighth.

"Sometimes you need a little bit of help to go the right way," said Carroll.

"There's a lot of things you need to come together to have the car under you and I've had a few issues.

"I was pretty gutted after the crash because normally I'm like, 'Yes I'll have this' and gain a few places, but I ended up being pushed out.

"At least we got through it and came out the other side."

The result moved Jaguar off the foot of the teams' standings at the expense of Venturi.

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