COUNTDOWN TO FIA FORMULA E RACING IN NEW YORK CITY
24 November 2020
How excited are you about racing around the streets of Brooklyn this weekend?
I can’t wait. The backdrop is going to be spectacular, with the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty right there. Everyone in the Jaguar team is thrilled to be part of this, the first-ever Formula E race in New York City. It’s the only race we have in the U.S. this season, which makes it extra special.
How difficult is it to race on a track you haven’t seen in person? How do you prepare?
It’s a real challenge. For weeks I’ve been staring at the outline of the track, trying to get the layout into my head. Our engineers at Panasonic Jaguar Racing have set-up the car for what they think the track will look like, but no one has ever raced here before, so there’s no historical data. Fortunately all the drivers and teams are in the same boat. Those first few practice laps are going to be key.
How challenging does the track look?
The track is 1.21 miles around Pier 11 and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal with some very fast straights and very tight hairpins. All street circuits are incredibly demanding, there’s just no room for error. Everyone is so tightly bunched you have to be absolutely focused, you can’t let your guard down. One thing’s for sure, it has the makings of being one of the most-exciting races of the season.
You’ve driven a lot of race cars since you started karting at age six. What makes this Jaguar I-TYPE Formula E car special?
It’s unlike anything I’ve ever driven before. The off-the-line acceleration is insane - we go from standstill to 60mph in 2.9 seconds. It requires a whole different skill-to balance speed with energy management. The sound compared to a traditional engine makes it more difficult to judge performance but you get used to it. This car is special because it’s taking us into the next chapter of motorsport. This is the future and it’s really exciting to be part of it.
Had you driven an electric car before joining the Jaguar team?
I remember driving an electric go-kart years ago and we are planning to do that during raceweek. I also did get to drive the new Jaguar I-PACE Concept along the Las Vegas Strip in January, which was a lot of fun.
What car are you driving right now?
I have a new Jaguar F-PACE with the 3-liter turbo diesel. I really love all that torque and the versatility of having an SUV. When I was in New York for the first time a few weeks back, getting familiar with the city, I got to drive the F-TYPE Coupe that had been specially wrapped in our Panasonic Jaguar Racing colors. I have my eyes on an F-TYPE next. I’m holding out for the SVR.
What have been the highlights of your Formula E season so far?
Definitely my fourth place in Mexico City at the beginning of April. It was a pretty crazy race from the first lap. That and scoring the fastest lap of the race in Berlin in June. I’m just hoping I can add this weekend’s race to my list of highlights. My mom and dad are making the long trip from New Zealand to watch me, so no pressure there.
For tickets and information about the Qualcomm New York City ePrix, as well as other Formula E races, visit www.fiaformulae.com. For the latest news and information from Jaguar Racing visit www.jaguarracing.com and @jaguarracing