Motorsport: Evans to leave GP2 for Formula E in 2017

By Dale Budge

Mitch Evans of Panasonic Jaguar Racing speaks to British model David Gandy. Photo / Getty Images
Mitch Evans of Panasonic Jaguar Racing speaks to British model David Gandy. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand racing driver Mitch Evans looks set to leave the GP2 series at the end of this year as his focus moves more permanently to Formula E.

The 22-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best young drivers on the planet but a disastrous 2016 season with Team Campos has seen him re-examine his future.

He has a works drive with British manufacturer Jaguar in the Formula E championship that began in Hong Kong over the weekend but is yet to commit to anything else for 2017.

"At the moment I don't have any other plans for next year," Evans tells "I will finish this year in GP2 and then have a look.

"I have some opportunities to continue there but I can't see myself doing another year of it at this stage.

"My priority is with Jaguar and the Formula E and that is where the main focus will be next year."

Evans has attracted interest from sports car manufacturers previously and has already contested some of the big global events like the Le Mans 24 Hour race. If he opts to only contest the Formula E championship fulltime he would be very keen to look at one-off drives at events like Le Mans or Bathurst next year.

"I am definitely open to those sorts of things - there are obviously a few big iconic events that any driver wants to do like Le Mans and so forth.

"As long as Jaguar allows me, and I'm sure they would, then it would be up to me to get something sorted."

Evans made his Formula E debut in Hong Kong over the weekend in the opening round of the 2016-17 championship. He was forced out of the event with an electrical issue but he got enough of a taste to know that it will be an exciting series to be part of.

"We had an issue with one of my cars, which was terminal. It was a shame that we weren't able to be out there racing but we were still able to collect a lot of data so it was still a worthwhile exercise.

"It was really tough and I definitely under-estimated how tough it would be.

"It was a huge learning experience for me and for the team.

"It was great to finally get my first race under my belt and experience what this series is all about. We were able to generate a lot of data which we will be able to use for the coming races.

"It is all very new technology. The biggest thing is getting used to energy management which is a little like fuel conservation I suppose.

"The street tracks are very unique and something completely new to me. It is different to anywhere else I've raced because these surfaces are very tight and very bumpy. That certainly adds a new challenge."

Evans will get his next opportunity at round two of the series in Marrakesh, Morocco on November 12.

- NZ Herald

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