Jaguar’s Mitch Evans completed his perfect weekend in Rome as he sealed his second successive in the Eternal City.
The result capped a remarkable weekend for the Kiwi, who secured his first win of the season on the Saturday before executing a precise Attack Mode strategy to seal his second victory of the weekend.
Starting just outside the front row, Evans navigated his way into a tense battle for the top step of the podium and waited until the very last moment to trigger his power boost to give himself the perfect opportunity to catapult himself to the front of the grid.
Once Evans had pushed his way into the lead, he looked set to sail to victory once again, before a late safety car providing DS Techeetah’s Jean Éric-Vergne with a golden opportunity to capatalise on his pole position.
However, Evans held his nerve and cruised across the line to lift himself right into the mix of the Driver’s Championship.
Robin Frijns also claimed a successive podium finishing, coming in third behind new championship leader Vergne, who leads Frijns and Mercedes EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne.
From start to finish
Unlike the day before, Sunday’s race got off to a relatively calm start, with pole sitter Jean Éric-Vergne shutting the door on Porsche’s André Lotterer, who had tried to get the jump on the Frenchman and second placed Jake Dennis on the very first corner.
The calm start did not last long, however, as Lotterer forced his way past Dennis up the Piazza Gandhi, a move which allowed Vergne to stretch his lead ever so slightly.
ROKiT Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara’s disappointing weekend continued as he was squeezed into the wall by Antonio Felix da Costa after making a move down the inside, suffering damage to his front wing in the process. The incident saw the Swiss-Italian fall down the order before eventually retiring.
Amidst the drama with Mortara, Evans had made his move on Lotterer to claim second place, before the safety car was called out to remove Dragon’s Antonio Giovinazzi from the track, bringing an early end to his home race.
The introduction of the safety car was a huge spanner in the works for Vergne, whose sizeable lead at the front was undone.
Soon after the restart, Evans managed to breeze past Vergne and into the lead, with the sheer pace of the Jaguar allowing the Kiwi to quickly build a comfortable gap out in front.
Evans waited to trigger his Attack Mode, however, and with both Vergne and Frijns opting to activate their boosts, they soon used it to their advantage to push past Evans.
By strategically placing himself in the slipstream of Frijns, Evans was able to conserve a healthy amount of energy, a factor of the race that would become important later on.
As the race entered its final stages, Evans still hadn’t triggered his Attack Mode, the only driver yet to do so. It looked as though time would be running out, but with the extra time of the safety car added on at the end, there was the perfect opportunity for Evans to trigger his eight-minute boost to use for the rest of the race.
However, it was time for another safety car appearance as Mahindra’s Oliver Rowland found himself off the track and out of the race, leaving Evans in a precarious position.
With the drivers all bunched up behind the safety car, Evans would have to risk losing track position to activate his Attack Mode.
As the safety car pulled in, Evans used his energy advantage to open up a gap from Vergne and pulled off at the Marconi hairpin to deploy his Attack Mode.
Evans rejoined just behind Vergne, but with extra power to his advantage, he was able to quickly get past him and resume his hunt for first.
With his foot firmly down on the throttle, Evans got his nose out in front of Frijns heading up the hill of turn six and began to chase down Lotterer who had found his way into the lead once again.
Boasting an extra 30kW of power, Evans quickly brushed Lotterer aside and shot off into the distance, leaving the rest of the grid out of sight.
It looked to be another dominant victory for Evans, but there was still another twist in the tale to come as the safety car was called out once again following a big bump at turn seven, with Jaguar’s Sam Bird shunting Envision’s Nick Cassidy into the wall and out of the race.
Evans’ huge lead was wiped out in an instant, and with all the cars bunched up behind the safety car and with enough time on the clock for one more lap, the stage was set for a one lap shootout.
Once the safety car pulled in, Evans went flat out to keep Vergne at bay but the Frenchman wouldn’t budge and was sniffing for any opportunity to get past.
At turn 14, Vergne was presented with an opportunity to try and push his way into the lead but hesitated, and the door was slammed shut by Evans, who navigated the last few corners with precision to land his second successive win in Rome.
It was the perfect weekend for Evans, who will look to continue his incredible form when the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship heads to Monaco later this month.
Image: Craig Evans Photography