Envision Virgin Racing is gearing up for the sixth race in the 2018/19 FIA Formula E Championship this weekend in Sanya, China.
Taking place on Saturday March 23rd, the race marks the return of the all-electric series to mainland China since the Beijing race in 2015. It is also the home race for the team’s majority owner Envision Group.
With both Envision Virgin Racing and Sam Bird topping the standings after five races, the pressure is on for the team. But Managing Director Sylvain Filippi is keen to maintain focus. He said: “There’s still a long way to go in this championship and a lot of points still up for grabs. As an independent team, we’ve achieved a huge amount already from working hard and constantly analysing where we can improve. Championships are not won in a weekend, so consistency will be key and making sure both our drivers are regularly scoring points. Confidence is at its highest in the team as we head into the Sanya E-Prix and we’re hoping we can come away with another strong result.”
This is the first time Formula E will visit Sanya, a city at the southern tip of China’s Hainan Island. Drivers will compete on a specially-built 2.236km track, with top speeds expected to reach 225kph.
Both of Envision Virgin Racing’s drivers are looking forward to the race, which is just before the season's halfway point. “After the drama of the last race, we’ve had time to reflect and regroup as a team and are now fully focused on the Sanya E-Prix,” Bird said. “The track looks good and reminds me a little of the Punta del Este circuit with its beach location, so will be interesting to see how dusty the surface becomes over the weekend. It’s always great to be racing in new locations and we’re excited to get out there.”
Teammate Robin Frijns added: “We’ve been working hard in the simulator to prepare for this but it’s always hard to know what to expect until you get out there. For sure the wind and sand might make track conditions interesting but we’re looking forward to the challenge and once again trying to score heavily.”
UK fans can follow the weekend’s action through the BBC’s live events platform – via the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer and BBC red button. Coverage can also be found on BT Sport and the Envision Virgin Racing website.