Mitch, you’ve been at Jaguar since the team entered Formula E. How has it developed?
Evans: “The contrast between when we started and now is huge: we’re a completely different team. We operate at a much higher level now. To be part of that progress has been really special, and it’s very rare for drivers to be able to experience that. In the first year, we finished at the bottom of the teams’ standings, and now we’re fighting at the front. To be part of that and help set that direction is just awesome.”
Did you know Jaguar would be a long-term project when your signed?
Evans: “I was always under the impression it was going to be a long-term thing. Contractually, it hasn’t been like that: I had only a one-year contract initially, but it has progressed to build my reputation in the team so they would put their trust in me.
“It was tricky at first, when we weren’t the strongest team, so for the team to see that and potential in myself to bring them forward was a great thing.
“The team has been very honest, though. I was never under the impression that we would learn in the first year and the second year would be title contenders. It was always realistic, and the timeline has played out exactly as was set out to me.”
What’s the secret to success in Formula E for a driver?
Bird: “In Formula 1, it’s all about aerodynamics, air efficiency and monotonous fast pace. Formula E is about fast pace, but there’s a large chunk that’s about being efficient, rather than being quick. There’s a constant chess battle going on, trying to work out what others around you are doing on energy, where they’re strong and where they might be weak. You try to save in certain places while you prepare to attack – and when you do attack, you don’t waste energy when doing it, because if you do that too many times, all you’re doing is burning energy and not going forwards. It’s the world’s fastest game of chess.”