Envision Virgin Racing driver Robin Frijns believes the new Formula E season, which gets underway this Friday, will put even more onus on drivers to deliver.
Speaking to series commentator Jack Nicholls via the team’s new On Charge series, the 29-year-old Dutchman feels the field is now even tighter, making teams even more reliant on their driver to be faultless, especially in qualifying.
“The field is coming much closer together,” comments the two-time race-winner. “The driver now makes even more of a difference and the whole field is going to be fighting over a few tenths rather than half of second.”
Frijns, who embarks on his third consecutive season with Envision Virgin Racing, is one of 24 drivers heading into this weekend’s season opener in Diriyah featuring two spectacular night races. After the frustration of last season, Frijns is now hoping he and new team-mate Nick Cassidy can put that behind him and challenge at the sharp end.
“From around race two last season things started to become difficult with DNFs, bad luck and car issues,” says Frijns. “You then start to see your season slipping away from you. I never lost hope though and the Berlin finale was better, and it showed the speed was there to be at the front.
“There’s no reason why we can’t fight for the championship, we just need a bit more luck on our side.”
– Robin Frijns
“With a new season though, everyone starts a fresh… but it is impossible to set targets in Formula E, especially with the qualifying format we have. Nevertheless, we are going into the season trying to win like everyone else. We have the team and the support from Audi to be competitive, so there’s no reason why we can’t fight for the championship, we just need a bit more luck on our side.”
Speaking on his new-team mate Nick Cassidy, Frijns added: “Nick is a good guy. We actually drove together in the last race of DTM last year. He’s very relaxed and a good chap to hang out with. He showed his potential at the rookie test in Marrakesh, so I don’t underestimate him at all. As a team we always want two cars at the front, not just one, so hopefully we have that with Nick. I think Nick will be very competitive from the off.”
Robin and Nick will be in action this weekend when Formula E returns on Friday and Saturday (26 & 27 February) with two races taking place at 20:00 local time. UK fans can watch live race action via the BBC Red Button and online from 17:00.