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Jake Boxall-Legge

Evans "owes" second Rome E-Prix win to Jaguar FE teammate Bird

Evans was due to take his attack mode - a solitary allotted activation of eight minutes in the second Rome race - on the 18th lap, but the stranded Mahindra of Alexander Sims prompted the emergence of the race's second safety car, which stopped Evans from being able to arm it.

With 12 minutes left on the clock at that point, Evans was at risk of not being able to see out the full attack mode runtime - which would have resulted in a penalty.

But with the addition of more added time, with the safety car periods resulting in a total of five minutes and 15 seconds being added to the end of the normal 45 minutes, Evans had enough in hand to collect and serve his full attack mode.

At the restart, Evans benefitted from Bird keeping the bulk of the pack at bay to ensure he only lost a single position to Jean-Eric Vergne when taking the 250kW power level boost.

The Kiwi quickly dispatched Vergne on the following lap, and then scythed his way past Frijns and Lotterer successively to move into the lead - which he ultimately did not relinquish.

Bird declared to that Evans was the new "emperor of Rome", for which Evans was grateful.

"He really helped me today," Evans explained.

"I owe this one to him because he held off JEV a little bit, and not really intentionally, just sort of did what he had to do just to make sure I had a nice little gap.

"It feels good to hear that from your teammate and he's been great. It's a shame, I'm not really sure what happened to him in the end [when he crashed with Nick Cassidy].

"I thought we'd be able to move to the front together so we need to analyse that, but I'm sure he'll be back."

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 5, Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 5, Robin Frijns, Envision Racing, Audi e-tron FE07 (Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images)

Evans told on Saturday that he wanted to eliminate the risk from his first win of the season by choosing not to extend the race by an extra lap, but felt that the extra risk involved in his second was "a little bit unwanted".

"I was about to attack that lap [lap 18] and it was just bad timing obviously with Sims having his accident. But I saw him moving so I thought 'okay, it won't be a long one, and we're in the phase of extension, so it should be okay.'

"But still, you feel like you're a little up against it. In the second phase, once we restarted [we tried to] find a gap to do the attack and come out without losing too many places, as obviously everyone bunches up.

"Fortunately, Sam did a good job and helped me a lot, so I only lost a position to Jean-Eric.

"I was trying to be smart with my energy and not burn it up with the attack. We managed it quite well.

"With the guys [ahead] it was quite fair racing and I think they realised my pace and my energy advantage.

"So they just sort of didn't make it too difficult. It's been a dream weekend." 

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