The last time Envision Virgin Racing competed in the Formula E in Chile, driver Sam Bird won the Santiago E-Prix. When they return this weekend, he’ll be hoping for a similar result.
The Chilean capital is the location of the third round of this year’s Formula E Championship. With a strong start to the season – Bird won the opening race – team managing director Sylvain Filippi says he’s ‘cautiously optimistic’.
“The team has worked very hard since the last race to prepare for Chile with drivers Sam and Robin Frijns spending time on the team simulator,” says Filippi. “Last season we proved that we were able to manage the high temperatures and able to control the situation very well, however other teams had a year to learn, and catch-up, with us so we’re cautiously optimistic heading into the Santiago E-Prix. We’ve got one win under our belts this season but as we’ve seen previously, consistency is key in Formula E.”
This year’s event is the third time Formula E has visited Santiago – and the second race that will take place at the Parque O’Higgins circuit in the city’s second largest public park. This year, the track will feature an 11-turn anti-clockwise layout where drivers will reach speeds over 225kph.
Bird said: “Winning in Santiago last year was spectacular, the race itself was both physically and mentally demanding which made the win even more special. It looks like we’ll be battling with very similar conditions again so it’s likely that battery and tyre temperatures will play an important role in the strategy for the race. We proved that we’ve got the experience to manage the external factors last time out and I feel confident going into race week, with all the preparation I have done with the team, so I’m positive that we can show our true capabilities again.”
His teammate, Robin Frijns, added: “Having the simulator at our Silverstone Headquarters is a hugely important asset to the team and one that has allowed us to prepare even more during season six, meaning that we go into each race weekend very confident in our own and the team’s abilities. Last season I managed to move up 10 places during the race and the layout changes to this circuit seem to be more conducive to overtaking so I’m excited to see what I can do out on track. As with last year tyre degradation is going to be high, arguably one of the highest all season, so it’s going to be interesting and for sure, an exciting race to watch for the fans.”
The third round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Santiago, Chile, takes place on January 18th starting at 16:00 local time (19:00 GMT). Find out how to watch the race live around the world and follow Envision Virgin Racing on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all the latest news.