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Bird, Frijns to Remain at Envision Virgin for 2019-20

Sam Bird and Robin Frijns to stay at Envision Virgin Racing for 2019-20…

Photo: Envision Virgin Racing

Sam Bird and Robin Frijns are set to remain at Envision Virgin Racing for another season, with the pair “locked in” for 2019-20, according to the team’s managing director Sylvain Filippi.

The pair have currently scored a win apiece in the newly-named team’s first season as an Audi powertrain customer with Bird having won the Santiago E-Prix in February and Frijns the Paris event in April.

Filippi told e-racing365 that his drivers are “locked in and happy” and that “it is great not to have to worry about drivers for next season.”

“With Robin we have a multi-year contract, so he will be here next season,” added Filippi.

“With his DTM program this year there was no problem. The dates are fine, no clashes and DTM don’t have any ABS, so actually it is not that different to Formula E in that sense.

“We are happy, Robin is happy, so we continue and keep the continuity like this.”

Envision Virgin Racing currently sits third in the teams’ standings, 51 points adrift of leader DS Techeetah, despite three non-scoring weekends in Ad Diriyah, Sanya and Monaco.

Frijns’ employment has always been portrayed as being an independent deal between the team and driver without Audi’s input, something which Filippi attests.

“We are Robin’s main program but then when the Audi guys in DTM said they were interested in him racing there, which came much after we signed a contract, then we said ‘OK, fine’.

“I think it is a positive that drivers are doing as much racing as possible, just like Sam in WEC too, as long as it never impacts on what we do here.

“As long as it keeps the race craft and motivation high then it’s good for everyone.”

With Daniel Abt’s position at Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler believed to be uncertain for Season Six, some paddock speculation has centered around the possibility of Frijns moving across to the factory team as a direct replacement.

However, e-racing365 sources have indicated that Nico Mueller would be the likely new teammate to Lucas di Grassi should Abt depart the team for which he has driven since the advent of Formula E in 2014.

Muller has tested several times for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler and will be attending the Bern E-Prix later this month in his capacity as an official test and reserve driver.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ops30

    June 11, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Did not expect this at all. Would have bet Bird would leave after this season for one of the current or incoming manufacturer reams.

    However, glad to see Bird remaining at Virgin. Love watching a customer team take the fight to the factory squads.

  2. Avatar

    Chris

    June 11, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    Great to see them continuing. Great team mates and cool to see Bird staying in the club of original drivers still with the same teams.

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