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Frijns joins Bird at Envision Virgin Racing

Robin Frijns will return to Formula E in season five as he partners Sam Bird at Envision Virgin Racing, who will take on new powertrains developed by Audi.

The Dutchman made his debut in the all-electric series in 2015, competing in season two with Amlin Andretti and scoring his maiden podium in only his second race, when he finished third in Putrajaya with a broken car.

He was dropped by the team in favour of Tom Blomqvist ahead of season four, with rumours linking him to a seat with Virgin Racing for season five due to the new Audi links.

“I’m very excited to be returning to Formula E with Envision Virgin Racing,” said Frijns. “It’s great to be joining such a strong team and with the work we’ve already completed, it’s clear we have a very good package.

“The live event at Silverstone has showcased all that the team can do and it’s great to be a part of that. We now look ahead to pre-season testing, where we’ll be able to better gauge our on-track performance.”

Bird will enter his fifth season with the team having previously taken seven victories and 15 podiums, and is excited ahead of the switch to the Gen2 cars.

“It’s great to be remaining with the team for a fifth season,” said Bird. “The relationship we have developed over the last 45 races has been incredible and I’m excited to see it continue to strengthen.

“Season five is a new era for every team – with the introduction of the Gen2 car – but particularly for us, as we are now joined by Envision Group. The team has worked tirelessly over the summer and are ready to return to the track for pre-season testing.”

Today’s announcement not only confirmed Frijns as Bird’s new team-mate, but also showcased the new livery that will adorn the season five challenger.

Founder and CEO of Envision Group Lei Zhang spoke of the new partnership with Envision Group, an organisation committed to the supply of clean, secure and affordable energy, at the launch event.

“We are incredibly excited to witness the Envision Virgin Racing team enter into the fifth season of Formula E. By taking part in this rapidly expanding racing series, we are provided with a format that allows us to share our enthusiasm for innovative technology, elegant design, smart mobility and high speed while showcasing the pure power of clean energy.

“Virgin Racing’s on-and-off track achievements in this championship so far have been extraordinary and we hope that the new Envision Virgin Racing Team, united by a shared passion for sustainability and motorsport, can continue building this team’s impressive legacy.”

“The team will be guided by Mr. Franz Jung, the Vice President of Envision Smart Mobility and the Chairman of the Board of Envision Virgin Racing. With his rich experience in automotive industry as a former senior executive of German premium brands, I’m confident in the team for the coming season.”

Sylvain Filippi, Envision Virgin Racing’s Managing Director, added: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with such an innovative, like-minded and sustainability-focused company like Envision Group. For us, Formula E has always been more than just a racing championship, it’s a chance to be truly innovative and help accelerate change towards a better future.

“As such, we’ve always been passionate about addressing the wider environmental issues and the reasoning behind our Race Against Climate Change programme. Now with Envision Group onboard, we feel we can strengthen this message even further.

“As well as Envision Group, I’d like to personally welcome Robin to the team, as well as thank Alex Lynn for all his hard work behind the wheel last season.”

Statistics provided by Envision Virgin Racing

Overall length:

Overall width:

Overall height:

Minimum weight (inc driver):
900kg (battery 385kg)

Maximum power:
250kw, equivalent to 335hp (race mode maximum = 200kw // 268hp)

Maximum speed:
280kph // 174mph

0-100kph (0-62mph) in 2.8 seconds

Bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport 18in tyres for both wet and dry conditions

Brembo package with brake-by-wire at the rear

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2/F2, GP3 and IndyCar all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool.