Kiwi Formula E driver off to frustrating start in series but gears up to find his spark at Sanya.

Kiwi Mitch Evans is hoping to spark his Formula E season in China this weekend.

The city of Sanya hosts the sixth round for the first time, so no team will have previous data.

Evans is in his third season with Panasonic Jaguar Racing and despite not having won a race, has already claimed a podium, been on pole and set a fastest lap.

He started the season well in Saudi Arabia with a fourth but has since struggled. But he has made the most of each race, scoring points at every round to sit eighth in the championship after five races.


"Yeah, it has been a little bit up and down so far," Evans told the Weekend Herald from China. "Obviously there have been some high expectations for this year. We started off well with a fourth place, then came unstuck being caught up in an accident in the next race after starting inside the top five.

"We have been scoring points in each race, so that has been a positive. There's still a long way to go in the championship and we're in a good car and in good shape."

Another positive is that after each time Evans has been forced to the back of the field, he has worked his way towards the pointy end.

"We're good at recovers which again is a positive but I'm sick of it as well [chasing back through the field]. I would rather be looking in my mirrors and defending from everyone. It's better to be starting at the front, staying at the front and keeping out of trouble. We're struggling a bit with qualifying and we have to fix that," said Evans.

The 2018-19 season is shaping to be one of the most hotly-contested motorsport categories. There have been five winners from five different races.

A mere two points separate the top four: Sam Bird, Jerome D'Ambrosio, Lucas di Grassi and Edoardo Mortara. At nearly the halfway stage of the series, it appears to be anyone's game, and there are also five other drivers who have a better than even chance of picking up a win, including Evans.

In a bit of an added twist to the race for the title, all four previous Formula E champions other than di Grassi are not even inside the top 10.

Such is the level of commitment of the drivers, each race has seen its fair share of crashes, so points are at a premium.

"It is so tight between all the drivers, teams and cars, it's really easy for things to go either way very quickly during a race. We're in the hunt at each event, so that is very important.

"The driver level is huge, as are all the teams with manufacturers coming into the series. It's a premium championship that races in some amazing places," he said.

The Jaguar outfit has a new car this year with everything now being built and maintained in-house. The British team is reckoned to be the first to build its powertrain in-house, which it feels is an advantage over the others who have to out-source.

The biggest and best improvement for all the teams with their new cars has been the elimination of the need to swap cars mid-race. Fans now get to see an uninterrupted event.

The Sanya street circuit will be a challenge for all the teams. It's quite short and can be compared with Berlin's Tempelhof Airport track and will be a technical challenge.

"We've made a lot of changes for this weekend and now it's a matter of putting it all together over the weekend," said Evans.

"The layout of the circuit looks pretty good. It's tight in places and quite wide in others. It's going to be hard on energy consumption, as you need a lot of pace to overtake.

"I'm expecting a really exciting race this weekend and I'm looking forward to it," he said.

Points after 5 races
1. Sam Bird 54
2. Jerome D'Ambrosio 53
3. Lucas di Grassi 52
4. Edoardo Mortara 52
5. Antonio Felix da Costa 47
8. Mitch Evans 34