Only because of the bankruptcy of the trulli team did Jaguar get starting positions much earlier than expected – otherwise the entry could have been delayed by two years
Jaguar has been part of Formula E since the 2016/17 season. On the technical side, we work with Williams Advanced Engineering on the electric drive. Team boss James Barclay has now revealed that there were serious concerns that Jaguar could only have entered the electric racing series much later.
“We had to get starting places. But that was not so easy because there were no free places,” Barclay recalls in the Jaguar podcast “Re: charge @ home”. “We were on hold and had to wait for an opportunity.” This chance finally came at the beginning of the 2015/16 season.
TrulliGP did not make it through the technical acceptance test for the first two races in autumn 2015. Finally, the racing team, which had been founded by former Formula 1 driver Jarno Trulli, had to close its doors. From Jaguar’s point of view, a starting place in the field became available much earlier.
Short preparation time with Williams
“We had started to worry that this opportunity wouldn’t open until season five,” said Barclay. For the fifth Formula E season, the team increased from ten to eleven. Jaguar should have waited almost two years. “So it was a relief for us that the opportunity had arisen.”
James Barclay leads Jaguar’s Formula E program
Photo: Motorsport Images
Jaguar and Williams then had to complete the development in a short time. Jaguar ended the first Formula E season in tenth and last place in the team standings. In contrast to Mercedes, Jaguar wanted to get on board directly with a factory team and not initially work with another team for one season and do a hidden factory assignment.
“The preparation time for our first season was relatively short. We didn’t want to hide behind another team. We wanted to perform ourselves from the start, but we knew we had to learn in public. We accepted that,” said Barclay . Jaguar continued to make progress.
There was no remnant of former work programs
In the second season, the first podium was conquered and they improved to sixth. Mitch Evans achieved his first win in the third season in Berlin. After the first four races of the 2019/20 season, Jaguar is third in the team ranking. Evans was third on the podium in Santiago de Chile and then won in Mexico.
In 1993 there was the last real Jaguar factory range
Photo: Motorsport Images
Jaguar had to set up a completely new program for the Formula E project. There were no resources from the former Formula 1 team. Ford bought the Stewart team in 1999. The Jaguar brand was represented in Formula 1 between 2000 and 2004, although Jaguar was not involved on the technical side. The team was sold to Red Bull in late 2004.
Jaguar’s last real factory commitment goes back to the XJR sports cars that were used in the mid-1980s and early 1990s, among other things, at the Le Mans 24 Hours. “Our last program goes back so far that there was nothing left of a motorsport team at Jaguar,” says Barclay.
With images from Motorsport Images.