Envision Virgin Racing remains in contention for a team win in this year’s Formula E championship after driver Sam Bird picked up more points at the Berlin E-Prix.
Starting 13th on the grid, Bird worked his way through the field around the 2.375km circuit with a series of impressive overtakes to gain four places. This, combined with a clever use of battery management, enabled him to cross the line ninth and bring in another two points for the team.
“Berlin has been a challenging event for us with a few issues to overcome but it’s nice to come away with a points finish, especially after the disappointment of Monaco last time out,” Bird said after the race. “Starting 13th obviously meant we’d have to come through the field, which we were able to do, and after a little bit of contact early on, I was able to settle down and focus on conserving energy and picking up places where we could. We probably could have made up a few more places – if it wasn’t for the full course yellow period – as the race pace was there, but overall we did the best we could, and we’ll now focus on getting a good result in Bern.”
Meanwhile, his Dutch teammate Robin Frijns had a difficult qualifying session and had been issued a five-place grid penalty following a collision in Monaco. This left him starting at the back of the pack in 22nd. He managed to gain nine places during the race and came in 13th.
Frijns added: “We knew today was always going to be difficult starting where we did but we had a good pace and was able to move through the pack towards the latter stages of the race. We know we need to work on our qualifying as that’s so important in Formula E, so we’ll go away and use the small break before the next race to see where we can improve and ensure we come out fighting.”
Frijns is now fifth in the drivers’ championship. However, Envision Virgin Racing are in third in the teams’ standings with just three races left this season.
Sylvain Filippi, managing director at Envision Virgin Racing, commented: “Sam and Robin drove really strong races today and had good race pace, so it’s frustrating not to come away with more. Qualifying is so important in Formula E, so we know we need to work on this for the remaining races, and ensure we remain in championship contention. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of positives we can take from this weekend, plus it’s been fantastic to have been joined by so many of our partners, as well as Lei Zhang, CEO of Envision Group, the team’s majority owner.”
The next Formula E round takes place in Bern, Switzerland on 22nd June. For more information head to the Envision Virgin Racing website.