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Frijns Poised for Formula E Return

Robin Frijns poised for Virgin Racing seat amid Audi customer deal…

Photo: Formula E

Robin Frijns could return to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and partner Sam Bird at Virgin Racing in 2018-19, replacing Alex Lynn at the British team.

The Audi factory driver is currently favorite to join Virgin, which is expected to become a powertrain customer of the German manufacturer with confirmation expected imminently.

Frijns has competed in DTM and the Blancpain GT Series this season, and is currently 15th in the points standings with Audi Sport ABT Sportsline.

He completed two full seasons of Formula E with Andretti but lost his seat last season when BMW became an official partner of the team.

Despite Audi being expected to confirm its 2019 DTM program shortly, Frijns is one of a few works drivers being considered for drives in Formula E.

Virgin Managing Director Sylvain Filippi says the team’s driver lineup is unlikely to be made public until October, however.

“We have lots of time to confirm things with drivers and get things in place,” Filippi told e-racing365 recently.

“We are in a good position and fully in charge of our own destiny. I think as a customer team we have a lot going for us and as Techeetah have shown it can be a very strong place to be.”

Filippi explained that while his recommendations would lead the team’s Season Five driver search, they would have to be approved and endorsed by the board, which is now largely made up of Envision Energy representatives.

The Chinese renewable energy giant acquired a majority share of the team in April.

Virgin Racing’s executive make-up also includes Neil Taylor, a significant influencer since the team’s founding in 2013.

Taylor was instrumental in overseeing the Envision deal and also the subsequent departure of former team principal Alex Tai in May.

E-racing365 has also learned that Nico Mueller and Nyck de Vries, both of whom tested with Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler at the Rookie Test at Marrakesh last January, have also been under consideration for a seat in Formula E next season.

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

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. krisg

    August 2, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    So, because their future involvement with Audi they can get an Audi driver (Frijns) or because now Virgin Racing is owned by a Chinese company, wouldn’t they prefer a Chinese driver?

    • Sam Smith

      August 3, 2018 at 3:48 am

      I am told it is entirely up to Virgin and there is no Audi coaxing. However, who really knows. Frijns would be a good choice, but so would Muller after his test performance last January.

      You have to feel for Lynn a little though in all this.

      • krisg

        August 4, 2018 at 8:55 am

        Frijns was fast despite didn’t have a competitive car. His departure because Audi/BMW interest clashes was a loss for the championship. Hope he will find his way back.

        About Lynn, he had some flashes of brilliance but his lack of consistence I believe didn’t play in his favour…

  2. Chris

    August 3, 2018 at 4:22 am

    I would feel bad for Alex Lynn. I’d like to see him get another chance. But it’s hard to see anyone taking him over Frijns. You know Robin would come back in and get the job done. He loves FE and he fits in the championship well.

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