Just Electric

New beginnings for Envision Virgin Racing

Envision Virgin Racing went from a DS factory team to an Audi customer team across the off-season between Seasons 4 and 5 and it came with a new driver line-up.

Sam Bird, who has only raced for the Virgin outfit in their various guises in Formula E, remained with the team while Robin Frijns made his return to Formula E and claimed his first victory in the series in Paris.

Bird had been in title contention in every Formula E season so far but a disappointing run from Sanya to Bern meant the Brit was not in contention this season. His team-mate, however, was.

Key stats

Wins 3

Poles 1

Fastest laps (top 10 only) 0

Teams’ Championship position 3rd (191 points)

Drivers’ Championship position Robin Frijns – 4th (106 points); Sam Bird – 9th (85 points).

Drivers 

#2 Sam Bird

Bird has been in contention in every season of Formula E’s history until Season 5. Four points scoring finishes – including a win in Santiago – meant it looked like Bird would continue his run of being in contention.

In a season where consistency was lacking across the board, the two podiums (third and first) plus a ninth and sixth in the opening half of the season looked like a good start for Bird.

It all unravelled in Sanya for Bird, though, as he failed to finish the race following accident damage. It wouldn’t be until Berlin where Bird would next score with a ninth place, before ending the season with three further points scores in Bern and New York (twice).

 

#4 Robin Frijns

Frijns’ return to Formula E could be considered a success with two race wins and a further two podiums. It was Frijns who was in title contention until the penultimate race of the season.

He kept his cool on the streets of Paris in Formula E’s first rain-affected race (although the season-opener in Ad-Diriyah was classed as wet) to take his first series victory as he kept his opponents at bay – with some skidding off into the barriers with alarming frequency.

Sadly for Frijns, the win in Paris was the last highlight of the season until the final race in New York – where he claimed his first points since the Paris win by taking victory.

Fourth in the championship for Frijns meant he finished as the best Virgin Racing driver and was only two points behind works Audi driver Lucas di Grassi in the standings.

Jack Amey

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