TEAM PRINCIPAL, ALEX TAI, DISCUSSES FORMULA E AND THE UPCOMING SEASON

In your three seasons competing in Formula E, Virgin Racing have finished 5th, 3rd and 4th in the teams’ championship. What are your objectives for this season?
Our objectives have always been the same – to win. We’re one of only three teams to have recorded victories in every Formula E season so far. For sure we want to continue our winning ways and finish as high up the order as possible. We have two very strong drivers in Sam and Alex, a quick, reliable car and a fantastic, experienced team, so we have all the elements needed to make a real impact.

Do you think Sam Bird and Alex Lynn will fight for the title in season four?
I certainly hope so! Sam has mathematically been in contention for the title every season to date. For sure the goal is for him to be much more than just theoretically in contention, but to be a proper title contender. As one of the rookies this season, Alex is coming into Formula E at a very competitive time but in his very first race in New York he stuck it on pole at his first attempt so I’m confident he’s going to do a fantastic job for the team and for sure cause a few surprises.

Renault has won 3 of 3 Formula E championship. What does Virgin Racing have to do to beat Renault?
Of course, Renault remain a strong competitor as do the likes of Audi, but we have the ingredients to win races. The key will be ensuring we remain consistent throughout the season and grab every point we can.

Formula E is a competition created to boost the electric propulsion systems. When are we going to see Formula E technology in road cars?
We already are beginning to see the first phases with much more to follow. Formula E was always about creating a test bed for EV technology and the shift in technology, but also perceptions of EVs, has changed rapidly over the past few years.

Season six will bring to Formula E important brands like Mercedes and Porsche. How will this affect the competition? Will Mercedes dominate as they are doing in F1?
For sure season five and beyond is a ‘watershed’ moment for the championship going from two cars per driver to one. That’s an incredible leap forward in such a short space of time and it’s very exciting to have been a part of the series from the beginning and to watch it grow. The new manufacturers – joining in season six in the case of Mercedes and Porsche – will no doubt create an impact and, like us, want to win. Formula E remains very competitive but also unpredictable – especially with the format of the one-day street races – so every event you are never certain of the outcome.

Formula E is always growing and Formula 1 loses thousands of fans every year. Do you think Formula 1 will use 100% electric technology in some years or is Formula E the future of motorsport?
Formula 1, of course, has mass appeal but it’s relevance within motorsport and beyond is certainly being questioned. There is room for both Formula 1 and Formula E in the future but Formula E is, and will be, the pinnacle of electric racing as intended by the FIA. Formula E is appealing to the next generation of racing fans and we hope its popularity will grow and grow.