Kiwi motor racer Mitch Evans' young motorsport journey has already seen plenty of twists and turns.
Although still only 25 Evans has a number of championships under his belt including a GP3 (now Formula 3) title, two Toyota Racing Series championships and a Le Mans 24 Hour LMP2 second place.
His four years in GP2 (now Formula 2) garnered wins and podiums, but the Formula One dream was still elusive. In what is regarded as a now inspired decision, Evans decided to throw his lot in with the then infant Formula E series that has now been given world championship status by the FIA.
"A lot of people might not have understood the direction I took in getting into Formula E initially," said Evans. "It was new and a bit of a risk. You could though, see what direction it was going and with Jaguar getting involved it was a good omen.
"It took a few seasons to get going and now you can see just how popular and competitive the championship is. The level of driver talent and the type of manufacturer teams now involved is incredible.
"There are so many drivers wanting to get into it [Formula E] now, and as it's based on driver talent it's a big attraction. With so many manufacturers involved it's a pretty big deal. Each season has got stronger and stronger, which is a great positive for the series."
His first season in 2016 was a steep learning curve, as was the Jaguar Panasonic race team's. Evans has always been a standout racer, and despite finishing his first season in 14th place, his undoubted talents had already been recognised by a global motorsport publisher.
Autosport wrote that Evans was one of the best in the series and saved Jaguar on its return to motor racing and ranked him eighth best. "As a debutant with a poor technical package underneath him, Evans' efforts were mighty. He gelled with the FE car quickly after minimal testing and a tricky first couple of races to lead Jaguar's effort for the rest of the season.
"Evans qualified in the top 10 four times, smashed team-mate Adam Carroll in the points and defeated him 9-3 in the qualifying battle," said Autosport.
The accolades have kept coming and last year he was ranked the second-best driver in the championship by Autosport and this year InsideRacing ranked him number one. From a rocky start back in 2016, Jaguar with Evans behind the wheel are sitting second in this season's series 11 points behind Antonio Felix da Costa.
"It means a lot to me that Autosport ranked me second last year and another publication has put me at the top so far for this season.
"It's very special and it means a huge amount to me. However, I would also like to be number one on the championship standings table.
"It's great that the work everyone in the team has put in is paying off and that shows in where we are sitting in the championship now. We've made so much progress every year we're now at the point we're one of the strongest teams on the grid and real contenders for the championship this year — once we get going again," said Evans.
Along with every other sport on the planet, all forms of motor racing have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Motorsport is quite lucky in that simulators have been around for many years. Every global category from karting to F1 has introduced an e (electronic) sport 'championship' and Formula E is no different.
Evans is about to tackle his first simulated race this weekend and is finding the difference between his race team's simulator and a sim racing set up quite different.
"Our first race is at Hong Kong this weekend. As a driver you know it's not the real thing but you want to take it seriously as you are representing the team and yourself. It's going to be fun and I hope I get a good result.
"The platform for sim racing is quite different to the one we use for the Formula E car. The simulator in the factory is as close to my actual car as you can get and it's used for improving the car, not racing. The software and ECU are exactly the same as in the race car. Each team has their simulator set up differently to match their particular car.
"The iRacing type of platform for example, is more about racing and entertainment with plug and go software. It's a bit strange (racing platform), but it's a good piece of kit and does a good job.
"I'm okay at it but not the best or worst — solid I suppose. It's a bit of fun," said Evans.