Formula E: Can Jaguar Make the Big Step Forward?

Jaguar entered Formula E with much fanfare in 2015-16, with Mitch Evans and Adam Carroll leading the charge for the British Manufacturer.

It was a tough old season for the British manufacturer, their best result of the year being a fourth place finish in Mexico City thanks to Mitch Evans. The team finished last in the championship, and are hopeful that this season they will make a big step forward. The question is, can they do it?

On the drivers front, there is both consistency and change. Evans has been retained but Carroll has gone. In his place has come inaugural Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr, who has had a rough ride in Formula E since that first title in 2015.

Evans impressed in his rookie year and there is hope that this line up will bring in some more consistent results in the teams second year, but that alone will not be enough. The team’s powertrain needs much refining, and whilst it was good in qualifying it lacked a bit in races – and that is precisely the goal the team will aim to achieve for the new season. It’s a must. Jaguar will need to cement themselves firmly in the top five of the championship, especially with the likes of Porsche, Mercedes and BMW entering the fray.

“Fundamentally getting in the top 10 won’t feel like a win.

Being solidly in the top 10 is where we want to be and if you’re there, or thereabouts, then it’s going to be quite close.

Then it’s who can execute.” – Jaguar race director Craig Wilson

With the competition being so tight in Formula E, it will take a lot of effort for Jaguar to break into the top three and eventually become top dog, so the top five is a must for this season. Not only are manufacturers winning races, but smaller teams such as Mahindra and Techeetah also took victories last season. If Jaguar do break the top five, it could lead to podiums and perhaps even a victory in only their second year in the sport.

If the top five isn’t reached then questions will certainly be asked behind closed doors on what went wrong and what can be done to fix the issues. It would be rather embarrassing if the team cannot reach their goal.

Operationally, the team will need to step up their game as race director Craig Wilson has admitted. They were not performing at the level that the likes of Renault e.Dams or Abt Audi, but that is perhaps understandable for a team in its first year of major Motorsport competition in a very long time.

“Now I know we have a better opportunity to get better results and I just know what to expect.

Last year the first races were a huge slap in the face, we were, as a driver and a team, not operating at a good level.” – Jaguar race director Craig Wilson

Can Jaguar leap up the order this forthcoming season? Undoubtedly, yes. They have the recourse, the drivers and the willpower to do so. But it will take much more than that to beat the established teams. Maybe it isn’t quite make or break time for Jaguar, but if they don’t move up the order, the powerful cat may find itself fangless…