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Gorne (Envision Virgin): Frijns “Capable of Great Things”

Envision Virgin tech chief expects Robin Frijns to become even stronger this season…

Photo: Envision Virgin Racing

The engineering leader at Envision Virgin Racing believes that Robin Frijns is capable of achieving “great things” in the upcoming ABB FIA Formula E Championship season.

Chris Gorne, who has been the technical director at the team since the 2016-17 season, oversaw Frijns’ first campaign as an Envision Virgin driver last year and thinks he will become an even stronger proposition this season.

Frijns goes into his second season with the team after taking two victories in Paris and New York City.

The 27-year-old claimed fourth position in the final standings and became the first driver at the team to finish ahead of Sam Bird, who has raced with Virgin since its inception in 2014.

Gorne says his relationship with Frijns and his engineer Bertrand Fermine is a major strength in extracting the maximum from the Dutch ace.

“We put a bit of pressure on him and obviously he and I have a good relationship but he also has a good relationship with Bertrand,” Gorne told e-racing365.

“I’m in a nice position where I can put pressure on both of them and a great example was in Paris last year it worked perfectly.

“I was a bit unhappy after Free Practice 2 and put the proverbial rocket up them and they both reacted, performed and won.”

Gorne was an engineer in rival teams when Frijns raced in both the Renault World Series and GP2 Series and recognized that he was “naturally talented”.

“Robin and I have a very good understanding of each other, we both share the same sense of humor. We have mutual respect which is nice, and I am a big fan obviously after running him at Andretti,” he said.

“His successful history says everything about him but when I ran him, having run hundreds of drivers down the years, it made me appreciate that this weird little Dutch kid was super talented, just naturally talented.

“When I then left Andretti, and I had some influence over who we could take here, I pushed quite hard to have Robin.

“I’m often being cruel to be kind but he knows that. I think he knows that if I’m not happy, he knows he’s not performing and he has to dig even deeper because he’s very capable of more great things.”

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

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