Evans: Rowland “completely screwed” my qualifying run

Mitch Evans reckons Nissan e.dams racer Oliver Rowland “deliberately” and “completely screwed” his Diriyah qualifying run as the Jaguar Formula E driver failed to set a flying lap.

Listen to this article

With 2min40sec of the group one session to go, Evans headed out on track. But Rowland emerged from the Nissan e.dams garage - further down the pit lane - marginally in front.

Audi racer Rene Rast was some way behind but he and Evans spent the majority of their preparation lap stuck behind Rowland and unable to find clear track space.

Evans’ race engineer Josep Roca reported over team radio that his driver was “one second out of plan”. Only Rowland crossed the line in time to then deliver a full-power lap.

Rowland ended the group run 0.8s clear of next quickest Pascal Wehrlein for Porsche, as Evans and Rast were 5s in arrears as a result of only being able to set a build-up lap.

Evans also failed to set a flying lap in the Marrakech E-Prix last season, which followed immediately after his Mexico City win, when Jaguar sent him out too late.

“I know from the outside it probably looks like we made a stupid mistake again, but this one was a little bit different," Evans told Motorsport.com.

“I left the garage at the same time as I did the day before and then I had no issues.

"I had a car in front of me this time that decided it didn’t want to go. It was done deliberately to screw us behind, which is not on. He completely screwed us.

“That’s the only thing about where we are in the pitlane – they can react to what we can do.

“He came out right in front of us. He was going slow in the pits, exiting the pits slow, by the time we got to Turn 5 on the out-lap we were already behind schedule.

“You try and pass but it’s not really possible through the middle section. Just silly.

“From the outside it probably looks like ‘why didn’t you leave 10 seconds earlier?’ but if you’re first on track in group one you’re toast.

“We weren’t actually trying to run any risk but we got pinched in a hole with him trying to screw us. He did that. It’s just not right.”

Rast added that Rowland “slowed down… obviously it ruined our qualifying.”

But speaking to Motorsport.com, Rowland said: “We usually leave a bit of margin, my engineer gives me a bit of margin and I took that because I didn’t want the guys behind to benefit.

“I wanted to be the last one [across the line]. I was. I did a good job.

“My engineer tells me how long I’ve got and how much margin I’ve got to my push lap. He tells me if I need to push or not and he was telling me to push all the way.

“I took more margin and obviously they were in the shit.”

Evans' teammate Sam Bird took the spoils in Saturday night's race, which ended prematurely due to a red flag caused by a spectacular crash involving Evans and Alex Lynn.

shares
comments

Related video

Evans explains Lynn’s “aeroplane crash” in Diriyah
Previous article

Evans explains Lynn’s “aeroplane crash” in Diriyah

Next article

Bird outsmarted Frijns in energy management

Bird outsmarted Frijns in energy management
The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title Prime

The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title

After Nyck de Vries was crowned Formula E champion in 2021, his Mercedes teammate Stoffel Vandoorne stepped forward this season as the Gen2 era and his team bowed out. As he did on the way to the GP2 crown in 2015, the Belgian achieved a peerless level of consistency and was only outside the points once, with his sole win in Monaco sufficient to head off a chasing pack headed by Mitch Evans

Formula E
Sep 19, 2022
Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season Prime

Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season

With his winning streak coming to an end this season, the 2021-22 Formula E season was tumultuous for Sam Bird, failing to gather momentum as Jaguar generally struggled. But the long-term favourite looks forward to bouncing back next season as the championship enters its new era

Formula E
Aug 30, 2022
What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2 Prime

What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2

The 2021-2022 Formula E season finale brought the curtain down on the Gen2 era of the all-electric world championship. It elevated FE to new heights, fulfilling its intended directive. While it is a good launching pad for the impending Gen3 cycle, there are certain aspects the series must tackle for the new era to have the same impact as its predecessor

Formula E
Aug 16, 2022
The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge Prime

The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge

The odds were heavily stacked in Stoffel Vandoorne’s favour to capture the Formula E crown at the Seoul finale, but chief rival Mitch Evans applied maximum pressure with victory in the first race. It meant Vandoorne had to show his resolve to reproduce the key qualities he held all season to complete his march to the title

Formula E
Aug 15, 2022
Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title? Prime

Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title?

Stoffel Vandoorne is on the brink of the Formula E title with a commanding lead ahead of the Seoul finale, but both rivals and unknowns still stand in his way. Here’s a run through of what Vandoorne must overcome to clinch the championship and how his competition will look to pull off the biggest of shocks.

Formula E
Aug 10, 2022
How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon Prime

How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon

It might not look like the most glittering of Formula E campaigns, but Dragon Penske’s youngster has caught the eye of those who count despite his future remaining unclear. Regardless of the distortion, Sergio Sette Camara has a clear vision of what he’s focused on and how to get there.

Formula E
Aug 4, 2022
How Formula E's title contenders were upstaged in London Prime

How Formula E's title contenders were upstaged in London

The penultimate stop on Formula E's world tour took in London's ExCeL, where the championship contenders were upstaged by two first-time winners in 2022. Andretti’s Jake Dennis kept the home fires burning in the first race as Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi claimed the second, but two consistent finishes mean its advantage Stoffel Vandoorne heading to the Seoul finale.

Formula E
Aug 1, 2022
The ex-F1 racer turned team boss adapting to a FE title fight Prime

The ex-F1 racer turned team boss adapting to a FE title fight

For the second year in a row, the Venturi team is in the thick of the fight for Formula E title glory with Edoardo Mortara. That's despite a change to a more meritocratic qualifying system, which was expected to give the works Mercedes team an edge, and ex-Formula 1 racer Jerome d'Ambrosio being new in the team principal hot seat. As he tells Motorsport.com, it's a challenge he's revelling in

Formula E
Jul 26, 2022