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Filippi Relishing Envision Virgin Managing Director Role

Envision Virgin Racing’s managing director Sylvain Filippi on his new role…

Photo: Envision Virgin Racing

Sylvain Filippi says he is revelling in his role as managing director of Envision Virgin Racing after altering his role at the end of last season.

The British-based French engineer took over the day-to-day leadership of the team after the departure of former team principal Alex Tai in June.

Filippi has helped guide the newly renamed team through its transition to Envision Virgin Racing after Chinese renewable energy company Envision Energy took a majority shareholding in the team last year.

A successful start to the team’s new structure has seen it emerge as the early pacesetter in Season Five as it heads both the teams’ and drivers’ points standings.

“The main difference in my life since May/June time since I took over the job officially is I am doing more commercial and marketing work,” Filippi told e-racing365.

“This means I spend less time on engineering which is not ideal but I have a team I trust and which is very talented.

“I think the strengths I have are quite varied now with the racing bit and the commercial bit, but I need to split my time well. It is more work but it is fine.”

Filippi explained that the smooth transition, which sees him reporting directly to team chairman Franz Jung, has itself been formed from a relatively consistent team structure.

“It has been stable, I think this has been key to where we are now. For overall responsibility I don’t expect any changes to be honest,” he said.

“Franz is there to help me on Envision specific matters and he is the chairman of the board so I work closely with him.”

Chris Gorne, who is responsible for all trackside performance, has a slightly expanded role this season as Filippi liaises between the team’s London and Silverstone offices.

Gorne has a wealth of experience in motorsport after previous lengthy stints at Panoz Motorsports and Arden International Racing among many other technical roles.

Both Gorne and team manager Leon Price will take over de facto team principal responsibilities together at the Sanya E-Prix which Filippi is set to miss due to the imminent birth of his second daughter.

“Apart from that the structure of the team has not changed and is quite stable and simple. I think that is key,” said Filippi.

“The decision making process is very good and is one of our strengths I think compared to some manufacturers.

“We are nimble and can make things happen quickly and I have full freedom to run the team.”

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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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