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Formula E

Exclusive: Evans expects critical Jaguar 'conversation' as Formula E title fight intensifies

In the second part of a RacingNews365 exclusive, Mitch Evans discusses the chances of a key talk taking place, his past and knowing that "anything can happen".

Evans Cassidy China
Interview
To news overview © Simon Galloway / Formula E

Mitch Evans is expecting Jaguar team principal James Barclay to hold a "conversation" with himself and Nick Cassidy ahead of this weekend's Portland E-Prix, as the Formula E title fight intensifies. 

The New Zealander knows "anything can happen" in the quest for the drivers' championship, which has an incredible chance of going to a Jaguar driver in the coming weeks. 

With four races remaining, Cassidy leads the championship, whilst Evans is 35 points adrift in third. However, with 116 points still up for grabs, the picture could change considerably. This is not Evans' first title fight "rodeo" after falling short in the last three seasons. 

However, this year is the first time where he is not the only factory Jaguar driver in contention. Until now, Barclay has allowed Evans and Cassidy to race, something they have both done fairly without contact. 

As the season approaches its close, though, the intensity of the racing is increasing, opening the door to potentially sticky situations for Barclay to deal with. 

Unless a complete disaster unfolds, the teams' championship will be going the way of Jaguar, reducing the pressure on intra-team management. 

'A lot can happen'

Nevertheless, whilst a talk between the two drivers and Barclay is yet to happen, Evans does expect it to take place prior to this weekend's Portland E-Prix.

"There's been no conversation yet, I'm sure there will be closer to Portland, but I think they want to give us both equal opportunity to win," Evans exclusively told RacingNews365. "We're both in a great position.

"If one of us was clearly out of the championship, then it could be a different story, but he (Barclay) knows how badly we both want it, so he doesn't want to interrupt that.

"And, ultimately, we want both drivers to have a shot come London, and for us to be in a really strong position in the team. So I think it's been working pretty well so far this year with that, but as I said, no conversation yet from James.

"But I'm sure that it will be spoken about just so it's clear with how everyone stands. I think it's also kind of obvious. With me only being, 30-ish points behind a lot can still happen.

"If it [the 35-points deficit] was going into London, it's probably a different story. But a lot can still happen. I think they want to try and maximise both drivers to be able to give us both the best chance, and ultimately the team the best chance to win."

			© Sam Bagnall / Formula E
	© Sam Bagnall / Formula E

Remembering Rome

Evans knows better than anyone in Formula E that the title fight is unpredictable after being involved in it for the last three seasons. 

In seasons seven and eight, the 30-year-old endured technical gremlins in the closing rounds which left him with a mountain to overcome. 

Last year, his best chance at winning the championship was wiped out after he launched over the top of Cassidy in the second race of the Rome double-header. Evans still discusses Rome openly, with him recognising how big and costly a mistake it was. 

Evans, however, is exceptional at learning from his mistakes and is perhaps secretly in the strongest position he has found himself in the title fight. 

Missing out on the crown last year hurt him, that was visible, but his relaxed approach to the fight this year could make an instrumental difference. 

"I think what I do know is that anything can happen," insisted Evans. "Last year, obviously, I made a mistake in Rome in the second race, so that was very costly. Anything can happen, which I think I'm really aware of. 

"It's just coming to that point of the championship where you don't necessarily have to be the fastest but you just need to be clinical and execute well. So it's more probably down to that. 

"I think in the past few years I've been very competitive in this phase of the season, but it just kind of slipped through our fingers in different ways. In season eight, it was some reliability, last year it was Rome." 

Portland stunner needed

Evans would rather enter the final four races leading the championship like Cassidy, rather than being the chaser. He recognises a big Portland performance is required to have a genuine chance in the London finale, where overtaking will be minimal. 

"Everyone's going to be on their A-game, that's for sure," added Evans. "At this point of the championship everyone is dialled in, all the teams are running well. So we're just trying to take a bit of weight off the situation. 

"And it's just one of those situations where if you're leading, you probably feel a bit more pressure, but you're in the box seat. I'd rather be in that position. But as I said, it depends on Portland, and how close London will be - if it will be close - or if I'll be out of the championship fight. 

"It can go either way. So I'm just going to take it step by step, take it day by day in Portland and kind of address the situation post-weekend. If I'm looking good, then we'll be putting everything in for London."

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