Envision Virgin Racing shows off Season 5 challenger
Envision Virgin Racing has revealed the car it hopes will bring it success in the upcoming fifth season of Formula E.
At an event at its Silverstone base, the team showed off the new livery on its customer Audi e-tron FE05 cars, as well as announcing that Robin Frijns will partner Sam Bird in the coming campaign.
Season 5 will be Virgin Racing’s first using Audi’s package, having moved to a supply deal from the German company after being DS’ works partner for the previous three seasons. The move means that Virgin Racing will be using the same e-tron FE05 race cars as are being employed by Audi in its works effort, employing that company’s hardware in the spec Gen2 base car.
“Our mission was to create a partnership with what we think is the best company, and Audi are the best possible partners, they have amazing knowledge in house and a really good understanding of what it takes to develop a really efficient powertrain, but I what I really like is their will and their motivation to keep pushing and keep improving with the resources they have available,” Envision Virgin Racing managing director, Sylvain Filippi told Race Tech.
Filippi also emphasised that the partnership would be mutually beneficial, with Audi benefitting from Virgin’s expertise and experience. “Formula E is not an easy championship. It’s going to get more and more competitive, and working with us is not a bad idea because we have some very good ideas about what it takes to win races.
“So, by combining two very strong forces, Audi’s team and our team, we can both aspire to be at the front of the grid.”
Dieter Gass, head of Audi Motorsport, was equally positive about the upcoming season. “It is very exciting.
“We have had a few discussions internally as to whether it was the right thing to do, but I was quite convinced since the beginning of last season that we ought to look into supplying a team,” he said.
“We know that even though Formula E is on a highly professional level it will further develop, and I thought that by having four cars on the grid, with a very experienced and professional team like Virgin will just improve our chances.
“Previous seasons are history, we are looking forward to Season Five – a new car and a new package for everybody, we don’t know what the others have done, we only know that we have improved every detail of our car.”
Formula E’s pre-season test is set to take place later this month at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, giving teams their first real opportunity to get to grips with the Gen2 cars before the first round of the 2018/19 season, which takes place in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on December 15.