After a hectic wet-dry race around the Circuit des Invalides, Robin Frijns secured his maiden Formula E victory at the 2019 Paris ePrix to take the lead of the championship to become the eighth different winner in as many races in the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship season.
With the race starting behind the Safety Car due to adverse weather conditions, it did not take long for Frijns to move up into the lead with pole man Oliver Rowland crashing at turn three on lap two, and then some ten laps later, his Nissan e. dams team-mate, Sebastien Buemi had a puncture which allowed the Dutchman to cruise by at turn ten.
But the race was far from easy thereafter, as Frijns had to contend with four Full Course Yellow periods, a Safety Car and heavy rain conditions for Formula E’s first wet race in 53 events. But despite everything, Frijns hung on to claim his first win in the all-electric single-seater championship, and in doing so, claim the points lead.
After the race, the Dutchman said: “That was one of the toughest races of my career but a great result! We were driving in very tricky, slippery conditions and being the lead car, you never know what to expect.
“I felt I was quicker than [Sebastien] Buemi and managed to get the move early on but after that it was really tough. It’s a great result for the team too and also to do it on King’s Day!”
Things did not go so well for his British team-mate Sam Bird who has endured three pointless finishes in a row after incidents plaguing his races in Sanya, Rome and Paris.
After qualifying a disappointing fifteenth, Bird was unable to recover to inside the points-paying positions after firstly being hit from behind by Jerome D’ Ambrosio at the mid-way point of the race and he suffered an off-track moment in the wet conditions, he ultimately brought the second Envision Virgin Racing car home in eleventh.
But after a spirited drive, the British driver said: “That was a difficult and frustrating race for me but I’m extremely happy for Robin for a well-deserved win. I got hit from behind at Turn 3 which sent me to the back of the field and out of the points.
“It was a hectic race and a shame there were so many incidents, but I imagine a good one to watch from the grandstands! We’ll keep working hard and push on for Monaco in two weeks’ time.”
Envision Virgin Racing leave Paris second in the teams championship and only 7-points off DS Techeetah at the top of the points classification, while Robin Frijns has now assumed the lead of the Formula E championship for the first time in his Formula E career as the series heads to the streets of Monte-Carlo in two weeks time.